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MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss various Medicare payment issues.

Among the issues discussed at MedPAC’s April meeting were:

  • Medicare skilled nursing facility value-based purchased program.
  • Medicare alternative payment models (APMs).
  • Medicare Advantage benchmark policy.
  • Medicare indirect medical education (Medicare IME) payments.
  • Medicare vaccine coverage and payments.
  • Medicare payment for prescription drugs prescribed on an outpatient basis.
  • Private equity and Medicare.
  • Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule.

MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues involving Medicare.  While its recommendations are not binding on either Congress or the administration, MedPAC is highly influential in governing circles and its recommendations often find their way into legislation, regulations, and new public policy.  Because so many patients of private safety-net hospitals are insured by Medicare, MedPAC’s deliberations are especially important to those hospitals.

Go here for links to the policy briefs and presentations that supported MedPAC’s discussion of these issues.

NAUH Comments to Ways and Means Committee on Indirect Medical Education Bill

At the request of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, the National Association of Urban Hospitals has written to the committee to convey its views on H.R. 3292, the Medicare IME Pool Act of 2015.

In its letter, NAUH expressed concern about a number of aspects of the proposed legislation, including:

  • NAUH Logoits separation of indirect medical education (IME) payments from Medicare costs by making those payments as lump-sum rather than add-on payments;
  • its failure to recognize teaching intensity in the hospitals at which medical residents train as part of the basis of IME payments; and
  • its distribution of too much IME money to hospitals that train relatively few medical residents and employ those residents to provide care only to modest numbers of Medicare payments at the expense of large urban safety-net hospitals that train large numbers of medical residents and provide significant amounts of care to low-income Medicare patients.

See the complete text of NAUH’s letter here, on the association’s web site.