Last week Mark Miller, executive director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee.

In his testimony, Miller summarized and explained some of the key points MedPAC made in its March report to Congress, including:

  • why MedPAC believes most post-acute-care payments are too high;
  • why Medicare needs to reduce the incentives for hospitals and doctors to deliver more services;
  • why it recommended no FY 2018 payment increases for long-term acute-care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and skilled nursing facilities and reductions of payments for home health care providers and inpatient rehabilitation facilities;
  • why Congress should not be concerned about hospitals’ negative Medicare margins;
  • why new steps are needed to evaluate the performance and adequacy of payments to free-standing emergency rooms and ambulatory surgical faculties;
  • why current payments to ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient dialysis facilities, and physicians are adequate; and
  • more.

Miller also chastised federal officials for not embracing MedPAC’s recommendations sooner, saying that adopting those regulations would have saved Medicare billions of dollars.

MedPAC is an independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues.  While its recommendations are binding neither on Congress nor the administration, its views are highly influential and often form the basis for future Medicare policy changes.

Learn more about what MedPAC told Congress by going here to read its formal testimony.