VNAA Issues Letter of Support for IMPACT Act
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) issued a letter of support to Representatives Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sander Levin (D-MI) and Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-OR) for their introduction of the legislation. In the letter, VNAA noted, “The IMPACT Act takes critical steps to strengthen and reform post-acute care services for Medicare beneficiaries. This legislation requires collection of standardized patient assessment and quality data on care provided to Medicare beneficiaries across the post-acute care spectrum.”

This legislation aims to modernize Medicare payments to post-acute care (PAC) providers and create a more accountable, quality-driven PAC benefit. The development process of the IMPACT Act involved great transparency and outreach to stakeholders, like VNAA, by its authors. The National Quality Forum also expressed its support for the quality related provisions of the legislation last week.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also released its cost analysis of the IMPACT Act. The CBO score shows a net 10-year cost of $43M, which qualifies as an “asterisk” under common congressional budgeting procedures. The score reveals upfront costs of $157M relating to the development and use of the new assessment tool, funds that are directly appropriated by the bill. Cost savings would be achieved by payment reductions assessed to skilled nursing facilities who fail to report the assessment and quality data that would be required, though the fact that savings diminish over time shows CBO thinks SNFs will eventually coming into compliance. 
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