The agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues is preparing to suggest changes in how Medicare approaches paying for short hospital stays.

At last week’s meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), commissioners received a staff presentation on issues surrounding Medicare payments for short hospital stays and discussed possible recommendations for changes in how Medicare pays for those short hospital stays.

Among the possibilities discussed at the recent MedPAC meeting are revising how Medicare’s recovery audit contractors program (RAC audits) looks at short hospital stays; revising the three-day-stay requirement for Medicare to cover post-discharge skilled nursing care; penalizing hospitals found to have unusually large numbers of short stays; and shortening the time-frame during which individual cases are subject to RAC audits.

See the presentation made to MedPAC members here.   Also, see this CQ HealthBeat report presented by the Commonwealth Fund on the MedPAC meeting at which this issue was discussed.