MedPAC Evaluates Payments for Rural Providers

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recently evaluated the payment adjustments for rural healthcare providers, according to a MedPAC presentation (pdf).

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires a report to evaluate rural healthcare access, quality and payment due in June 2012.

MedPAC specifically covered payments in its presentation, but draft recommendations have not yet been made. Highlights include the following:

•    Principles for evaluating rural payment adjustments should focus on targeting providers that are the sole source of care in their area, justifying payments empirically and maintaining incentives for cost control.
•    Adjustments need to be made for critical access hospitals, low-volume adjusters and telehealth.
•    As CAHs raise charges, outpatient co-insurance goes up, which costs Medicare large sums of money.

Related Articles on MedPAC:

MedPAC Considers Repeal of Sustainable Growth Rate
Medicare Imaging Cuts Opposed in House Letter
MedPAC Issues June Report to Congress; Includes Suggestions to Improve Use of Imaging

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