MedPAC Issues March 2019 Report to Congress

In its report, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommends a 2 percent increase in payment rates for hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems (PPS), as well as a 2 percent increase for long-term care hospitals. 

Other recommendations for 2020 include:

  • Reduce payments to inpatient rehabilitation facilities and home health agencies by 5 percent.
  • Reduce payment rates for hospice providers by 2 percent.
  • Eliminate the update for skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs), and revise and recalibrate the SNF PPS annually.
  • Eliminate the update for ambulatory surgical centers and require them to report cost data.
  • Update payment rates for physician and other health professional services by the amount specified in current law.

MedPAC also recommends replacing Medicare’s four existing hospital quality programs – Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, and Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program – with a single program named the Hospital Value Incentive Program.