MedPAC Issues March Report to Congress

March 16, 2017
Rick Gawenda

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released their March 2017 report to Congress. The 2017 report includes payment policy recommendations for nine provider sectors in fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. MedPAC also reviews the status of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and Medicare’s prescription drug plans (Part D).

Highlights of the report includes the following MedPAC recommendations:

Physicians and other Health Professionals

  • The Congress should increase payment rates for physician and other health professional services by the amount specified in
    current law for calendar year 2018.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

  • The Congress should eliminate the payment increases for 2018 and 2019 and direct the Secretary to revise the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities.
  • In 2020, the Secretary should report to the Congress on the impacts of the reformed PPS and make any additional adjustments to payments needed to more closely align payments with the costs of efficient providers.

Home Health Agencies

  • The Congress should reduce home health payment rates by 5 percent in 2018 and implement a two-year rebasing of the payment system beginning in 2019.
  • The Congress should direct the Secretary to revise the PPS to eliminate the use of the number of therapy visits as a factor in payment determinations, concurrent with rebasing.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities

  • The Congress should reduce the Medicare payment rate for inpatient rehabilitation facilities by 5 percent for fiscal year 2018.

To access the Fact Sheet for the March 2017 report, click HERE. To access the full report, click HERE.

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This article is not intended to and does not serve as legal advice or as consultative services, but is for general information purposes only.

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  1. Would OT and PT out-patient private practice be included in the “Physicians and OTHER Health Professionals” category?