General acute-care hospitals transfer 1% of all discharged patients to long-term acute-care hospitals, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said in its June report. Transfers are most prevalent among patients who receive tracheostomies; 23% of such patients are discharged to a long-term acute-care hospital, MedPAC said. Medicare spending on long-term acute-care hospitals, which receive higher payments, is growing at a rate that concerns some policymakers. A recent CMS proposal would clamp down on the proliferation of such hospitals by requiring those that operate within other hospitals to have separate ownership and draw no more than 25% of admissions from the host hospital. Reiterating recommendations it approved earlier this year, MedPAC said Congress should define long-term acute-care hospitals by facility and patient criteria and HHS should require Medicare quality-improvement organizations to review admissions to such facilities for medical necessity. MedPAC advises Congress on Medicare payment and policy matters. -- by Jeff Tieman
MedPAC addresses long-term acute-care hospitals
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