Archive for post-acute care

 

MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. to discuss a number of Medicare payment issues.

The issues on MedPAC’s March agenda were:

  • two Medicare payment strategies to improve price competition and value for Part B drugs: reference pricing and binding arbitration
  • options for slowing the growth of Medicare fee-for-service spending for emergency department service.
  • Medicare’s role in the supply of primary care physicians
  • evaluating an episode-based payment system for post-acute care
  • mandated report: changes in post-acute and hospice care following the implementation of the long-term care hospital dual payment rate structure

MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues involving the Medicare program.  While its recommendations are not binding on either Congress or the administration, MedPAC is highly influential in governing circles and its recommendations often find their way into legislation, regulations, and new public policy.

Go here for links to the policy briefs and presentations that supported MedPAC’s discussion of these issues.…

Rural Nursing Homes Struggle With Challenges

Across rural parts of the country skilled nursing facilities are struggling, and growing numbers are faltering in the face of many problems.

Among the challenges they face are:

  • difficulty passing health and safety standards
  • evolving health care policies that encourage people to remain in their homes instead of choosing to enter nursing homes
  • growing proportions of patients covered by Medicaid
  • the failure of Medicaid payments in many states to cover the cost of nursing home care

These challenges are especially acute in rural areas.  Today, many regions have enough skilled nursing beds, at least on paper, but they are not necessarily where people need them, requiring many families to place members in facilities hundreds of miles from home.

Learn more about the challenges that both nursing homes and those who need nursing homes face in rural America in the New York Times article “Nursing Homes Are Closing Across Rural America, Scattering Residents.”

Nursing Home Study: More Medicaid Patients=Worse Care

Nursing homes that serve larger proportions of Medicaid patients have lower quality ratings, according to a new study from the American Health Care Association, a long-term-care provider trade group.

The study also found that:

  • For-profit nursing homes care for more Medicaid patients than non-profits.
  • Rural nursing homes care for more Medicaid patients than urban facilities.
  • Large facilities care for a higher proportion of Medicaid patients than smaller facilities.

 

Learn more about the study and the theories behind some of these findings in the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article “AHCA study: Facilities with higher Medicaid populations have poorer quality outcomes.”

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Nursing Home Occupancy Down

Nursing home occupancy fell from 83.07 percent in 2013 to 80.24 percent at the end of 2017, according to a new report.

The amount of time patients spend in nursing homes is falling as well.

Declining occupancy and length of stay and shrinking reimbursement have led to nursing home closings and a six percent decline in cash on hand between 2013 to 2017.

Learn more about some of the challenges facing skilled nursing facilities in the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News report “Dwindling reimbursement, occupancy numbers chipping away at skilled nursing margins, new analysis finds.”

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MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. to discuss a number of Medicare payment issues.

The issues on MedPAC’s October agenda were:

  • managing prescription opioid use in Medicare Part D
  • opioids and alternatives in hospital settings: payments, incentives, and Medicare data
  • Medicare payment policies for advanced practice registered nurses and physicians
  • Medicare’s role in the supply of primary care physicians
  • Medicare payments for services provided in inpatient psychiatric facilities
  • episode-based payments and outcome measures under a unified payment system for post-acute care
  • Medicare policy issues related to non-urgent and emergency care

MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues involving the Medicare program.  While its recommendations are not binding on either Congress or the administration, MedPAC is highly influential in governing circles and its recommendations often find their way into legislation, regulations, and new public policy.

Go here for links to the policy briefs and presentations that supported MedPAC’s discussion of these issues.

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