MedPAC Recommends Cut in Hospice Base Payments for FY2020

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended to the U.S. Congress a two percent reduction in hospice base payments for fiscal year 2020 in its 2019 Report to Congress. This is in line with what NAHC expected and previously reported. Given recent historical data trends, implementation of the MedPAC recommendation for FY2020 would result…

Administration Budget Calls for Spending Cuts, Prior Authorization, Unified Post-Acute Payment System

On Tuesday the White House released the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget. Released annually, the President’s budget does not carry the weight of law, but does provide a robust view of the administration’s priorities, and the direction it would like to take the country. The Department of Health and Human Services outlined a projected budget…

MedPAC Calls for Home Health Rate Cut, NAHC Objects

MedPAC, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, released its annual March report to Congress on March 15, 2019.  MedPAC is required to produce this report; however, Congress is not required to act upon all the recommendations contained in the report and historically has not done so.  Chapters 9 and 12 of the Report, Home Health Recommendations…

MedPAC Opposes Episode-Based Payment for Post-Acute, For Now

On March 8, 2019 the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) panel concluded that a unified payment system for post-acute care facilities should be based on each patient stay and not the entire episode of care. The discussion among commission members focused on how to create a unified prospective payment system to make Medicare fee-for-service payments…

MedPAC Calls for Rate Cuts to Home Care and Hospice

On Friday, January 17th, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reconvened for a series of sessions to vote on official recommendations the Commission will make to the U.S. Congress. These follow the December MedPAC meeting where staff presented current data and trends within the Medicare program, then offered proposed recommendations for the Commissioners to consider…

MedPAC Considers Hospice, Home Health Payment Changes for 2020

On Friday, December 7th, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) convened for presentations and discussion regarding the Medicare hospice and home health benefits. In both sessions, the commission was presented information on current payment adequacy based on data from years past and suggestions from MedPAC staff for recommendations the committee will make to Congress for…

MedPAC is Evaluating the Accuracy of Provider-reported Functional Assessments

On Thursday November 1st, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) convened for a session titled Evaluating Patient Functional Assessment Data Used in Medicare Payment and Quality Measurement. In their presentation, MedPAC staff relayed that the majority of post-acute care patients receive a mix of rehabilitative services. As such, staff believes maintenance or improvement of function…

CMS Chief: Prior Authorization Needed to Fight “Fraud and Abuse”

CMS Administrator Seema Verma complained that the federal government needs more legal authority to conduct Medicare prior authorization reviews she says work well in the private sector during a speech to the America’s Health Insurance Plans 2018 National Conference on Medicare on Tuesday, October 16. Interestingly, according to a report from Inside Health Policy, Barbara…

MedPAC Examines Post-Acute Payment Systems

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC or the Commission) examined post-acute payment systems in an October 5, 2018 a session entitled, Episode-based payments and outcome measures under a unified payment system for post-acute care. Currently, many similar patients are treated in four settings— home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and…

NAHC to Congress: Fight Opioid Crisis without Limiting Access to Patients in Need

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has joined with other groups in the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in a letter to Congressional leaders, asking them to continue fighting the opioid crisis, but to do so in a way that does not limit access to painkillers for legitimate patients in need. In…