Members of Congress are working to improve the manner in which Medicare pays for post-acute care for seniors.

Pursuing an area that MedPAC, which advises Congress on Medicare payment issues, has cited as in need of improvement and reform, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives solicited input from stakeholders and has now published a “discussion draft” of legislation that focuses on policy changes and standardized assessment data.

Among the post-acute-care providers addressed that could be affected by reform are home health agencies, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and skilled nursing facilities.

US Capitol DomeMany private safety-net hospitals offer various post-acute-care services.

The draft legislation would require Medicare to collect data so it can compare the quality of care delivered by the different provider types and help inform both discharge planning and Medicare payment policies.  Currently, it has been noted, there are circumstances under which Medicare pays different providers different amounts for the same kinds of care.

Learn more about the bipartisan discussion draft and the thinking behind it in this CQ HealthBeat article presented by the Commonwealth Fund and find the discussion draft itself here.