MedPAC Recommends 2015 Pay Freeze for Some Providers

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has finalized a recommendation to freeze Medicare payments in fiscal year 2015 for long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, home health, hospice and dialysis providers, according to an AHA News report.

MedPAC also extended through 2015 an earlier recommendation to freeze skilled nursing facility payments and rebase the SNF prospective payment system, according to the report. Additionally, the commission has recommended establishing a readmissions reduction policy applying a penalty to home health payments for hospital readmissions that exceed a risk-adjusted target.

Furthermore, MedPAC has suggested creating a common post-acute assessment instrument for home health, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals in 2016, according to the report.

Last week, MedPAC also approved final recommendations that Congress increase hospital payment rates by 3.25 percent in the absence of sequestration cuts and by 5.25 percent if the spending cuts continue. The commission has also suggested that long-term care hospitals should be paid the same amount as general acute-care hospitals for patients who are not deemed "chronically critically ill."

More Articles on Medicare Payments:
MedPAC Approves Final 2015 Hospital Payment Recommendations
Bill Would Tie Medicare Payments to Outcomes for Chronically Ill Patients
Senate Rejects Proposal Extending Medicare Cuts to Fund Unemployment Benefits 

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