The independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues is likely to recommend that Congress require Medicare to implement site-neutral payments for some rehabilitation services.
During last week’s meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), members received a briefing from their staff that compared the costs and efficacy of treatment for conditions currently treated at both inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Based on this presentation, MedPAC is leaning toward recommending to Congress that research be undertaken to identify specific medical conditions that can be treated effectively at either type facility and then make Medicare payments for those services site-neutral – that is, the same payment regardless of which facility is providing the care (which generally means the lower, skilled nursing facility rate).
The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) opposes site-neutral Medicare payments.
See the presentation on site-neutral payments for selected Medicare rehabilitation services here, on MedPAC’s web site.