MedPAC Releases March Report to Congress
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy






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On March 14, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its March 2014 Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy. The report includes payment analysis of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA) and provides information on the prescription drug benefit, Part D. VNAA had the opportunity to review draft chapters on home health and hospice and submitted comments related to these chapters. Read the MedPAC report here.

Report highlights include:

  • Fee-for-service payment rate recommendations. The report presents MedPAC’s recommendations for 2015 rate adjustments in fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. These "update" recommendations—which MedPAC is required by law to submit each year—are based on an assessment of payment adequacy taking into account beneficiaries’ access to and use of care, the quality of the care they receive, supply of providers, and providers’ costs and Medicare’s payments.
  • Examining Medicare’s payments for services provided in different care settings. MedPAC also makes recommendations on improving payment accuracy by examining payment rates for similar types of care frequently provided in different care settings.
  • In the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, enrollment continues to grow, beneficiaries continue to have wide access to plans (with an average of 10 plans to choose from in 2014), and Medicare’s MA benchmarks and payments to plans have moved closer to FFS levels. This is important because MedPAC has stressed the concept of imposing fiscal pressure on all Medicare providers to improve efficiency and reduce Medicare program costs.

In addition, on March 6 and 7, VNAA attended the public meeting held by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) where MedPAC staff presented and Commissioners explored emerging and cross-cutting issues for all providers. Topics covered at this meeting were not specific to home health and hospice, but could have future implications. Find out more about the MedPAC March 6-7 presentations by clicking here.

VNAA submitted comments to MedPAC regarding the most recent meeting. VNAA continues to explore emerging issues with its membership through its quality, innovation, education and policy programs. Many sessions at Annual Meeting will cover these topics.

Read VNAA's letter to MedPAC here.

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