The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has submitted its annual Medicare payment rate recommendations to Congress.
The recommendations, required by law, include:
- rate increases as required by current law for hospital inpatient payments, hospital outpatient payments, physicians, other health professional services, and outpatient dialysis payments;
- no updates for ambulatory surgical centers, skilled nursing facilities, long-term-care hospitals, and hospices; and
- five percent rate reductions for home health agencies and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
MedPAC continued its past practice of recommending reform of the manner in which Medicare pays for post-acute-care services, maintaining that the unified payment system it has proposed would save $30 billion over the next ten years.
The report also addresses the status of the Medicare Advantage program and the Medicare prescription drug program (Medicare Part D).
While MedPAC’s recommendations to Congress are not binding, they are highly influential and often form the basis for future public policy.