Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission released its annual report to Congress. Included in this report are MedPAC’s Medicare rate recommendations for the coming year. They are:
- hospital inpatient rates – a two percent increase
- hospital outpatient rates – a two percent increase
- physician and other health professional services rates – no update
- skilled nursing facilities – no 2020 increase
- home health agencies – a five percent rate reduction
- inpatient rehabilitation facilities – a five percent rate reduction
- long-term-care hospital services – a two percent increase
- hospice services – a two percent rate reduction
MedPAC also recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services replace its current array of hospital quality programs with a new, streamlined “hospital value incentive program,” or HVIP, that would replace the Hospital Inpatient Quality Program, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, and the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program.
MedPAC’s recommendations are binding on neither the administration nor Congress but its views are highly respected and often find their way into new laws, new policies, and new programs.