The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has urged Congress to reduce Medicare payments to freestanding emergency departments 30 percent.
The recommendation, approved by MedPAC earlier this month and to be included in its June report to Congress, notes that such facilities have a lower cost structure because they typically lack some of the equipment, personnel, and standby capabilities of hospital ERs. In making its recommendation, MedPAC also noted that freestanding ERs typically treat patients whose conditions are not as severe as hospital ERs and tend to be located in areas that already have adequate access to hospital ERs.
While MedPAC’s recommendations are not binding on either Congress or the administration, its views are highly respected and often find their way into future Medicare policy development efforts.
Learn more about the MedPAC recommendation on Medicare payments to freestanding ERs and the reasons behind it in this Kaiser Health News report.