The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has issued its 2018 report and recommendations to Congress.
The report includes MedPAC’s recommendations for next year’s Medicare fee-for-service payments; a review of the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs, with recommendations; and a report telehealth required by the 21st Century Cures Act.
For Medicare fee-for-service rates, MedPAC proposes:
- the inpatient and outpatient rate increases, physician and other health professional rate increases, and outpatient dialysis increase included under current law
- no increase for ambulatory surgical centers, long-term-care hospitals, and hospice providers
- no rate increase for skilled nursing facilities
- a five percent reduction of payments for home health providers and the introduction of a two-year rebasing of home health rates beginning in 2020
- a five percent reduction of inpatient rehabilitation facility payments
In addition, MedPAC recommends that Medicare base future payments to post-acute providers on a blend of “each sector’s setting-specific relative weights and the unified post-acute care prospective payments system’s relative weights.”
MedPAC also recommends that Medicare abandon its merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) in favor of an alternative approach for achieving “the shared goal of high-quality clinician care for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare.”
MedPAC is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues. While its recommendations are not binding on Congress or the administration, its views are highly respected and are often eventually adopted as official public policy.
To learn more about Medicare’s recommendations, go here to see MedPAC’s news release introducing is 2018 report; go here to see a fact sheet presenting highlights from the report; and go here to see the report itself.