MedPAC Issues FY2016 Hospice Recommendations, Provides Key Policy Commentary
Annually the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) issues a Report to Congress in March that contains a series of recommendations on payment policy changes it advises for the forthcoming payment year. As part of the 2015 Report’s chapter on Hospice Services, the Commission examines adequacy of current hospice payments, provides a wealth of updated statistics on benefit utilization, and advocates for payment and policy changes based on its findings.
For 2015, MedPAC projects an aggregate Medicare margin for hospices of 6.6 percent. This statistic was arrived at by taking into consideration the following factors:
- The 2012 margin estimate;
- Market basket updates of 2.6, 2.5 and 2.9 for fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively;
- A market basket reduction of 1.0 percentage point in 2013, 0.8 percentage point in 2014, and 0.8 percentage point in 2015 (the productivity adjustment and additional annual 0.3 percentage point adjustment, both required under the Affordable Care Act);
- A 2.0 percent reduction in payments due to the sequester, starting in April 2013;
- The budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF) reduction impact for 2013, 2014, and 2015;
- Additional wage index change; and
- Assumption of higher cost growth in 2014 and 2015 due to increased regulatory burdens.
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