MedPAC Finalizes 2017 Payment Recommendations for Home Health, Hospice
January 15, 2016 03:49 PM
On Thursday, January 14, 2016, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met to finalize recommendations for inclusion in its annual March Report to Congress on Medicare payment policy. In arriving at its recommendations, the commission examined a variety of factors that relate to payment adequacy, including beneficiary access to care, the capacity and supply of providers, care utilization, quality of care, provider access to capital, and financial margins.
In December 2015 MedPAC staff explored issues related to hospice payment adequacy in depth, which was covered in NAHC Report here. For both home health and hospice, MedPAC will recommend that Congress eliminate the updates for the 2017 payment year. As the annual payment updates for both home health and hospice are set in statute, elimination of the payment updates for 2017 would require legislative action.
Relative to hospice payment policy, MedPAC is expected to repeat its recommendation that hospice be included as part of the Medicare Advantage benefit package. For more information on that recommendation, please see NAHC Report, March 20, 2015.
With respect to home health, in addition to its recommendation that no payment update for the 2017 payment year be included, MedPAC is expected to recommend that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implement a two-year rebasing of the payment system beginning in 2018; and that the Congress direct the Secretary to revise the Prospective Payment System to eliminate the use of therapy visits as a factor in payment determinations concurrent with rebasing.
NAHC will continue to follow MedPAC’s recommendations and how well they are received by Congress.