As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues to develop a unified payment system for all post-acute-care providers, Congress’s advisors on Medicare payment policy appear ready to weigh in on an important aspect of such a system:

Whether payments should be based on entire episodes of care or individual stays in post-acute-care facilities.

And at least for now, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is leaning toward recommending that post-acute-care payments be based on individual stays.

At their March public meeting, MedPAC commissioners expressed concern that post-acute-care payments based on entire episodes of care might create financial incentives for providers to discharge their patients prematurely.  Payments based on individual stays pose no such temptation, they believe.

Learn more about the current effort to develop a unified payment system for post-acute care and the challenges that effort faces in addressing both quality and costs in the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article “Medicare advisors urge Congress against an episode-based payment system for post-acute care.”