MedPAC finalizes 2015 post-acute, ASC, dialysis recommendations

AHA News Now

At a two-day meeting concluding today, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission adopted a final recommendation to freeze payments for long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, home health, hospice and dialysis providers under Medicare prospective payment systems for 2015. In addition, the commission recommended creating a readmissions reduction policy that would apply a penalty to HH payments for HH readmissions to hospitals that exceed a risk-adjusted target, and finalized a recommendation to create a common post-acute assessment instrument for HH, skilled nursing facilities, IRFs and LTCHs in 2016. The commission also extended through 2015 its prior recommendation to freeze payments for SNFs and rebase the SNF PPS. As reported in AHA News Now yesterday, the commission also voted to phase in over three years a policy to pay LTCHs the same rates as general acute-care hospitals for patients who are not deemed “chronically critically ill,” defined as receiving at least eight intensive-care-unit days of service or prolonged ventilation services during the prior inpatient PPS hospital stay. MedPAC staff estimate that the policy would reduce overall LTCH payments by 36%. The savings would be redistributed to a new outlier pool for CCI cases treated in inpatient PPS hospitals.

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