The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in its June report to Congress made a series of recommendations to reform Medicares payment system and make providers more accountable for the quality of care they provide.
The commission made specific recommendations in three areas: primary-care, care provided around a hospitalization, and skilled-nursing facility payments. To improve care coordination and efficiency, the panel recommended reducing payments to hospitals with relatively high readmission rates for select conditions, and suggested that the CMS conduct a voluntary pilot program to test bundled payment for all services around a hospitalization for select conditions.
In addition, HHS should confidentially report to hospitals and physicians information about resource use around a hospitalizationsuch as inpatient staysand readmission rates. After two years of confidential disclosure to providers, this information should be reported publicly.
To boost primary care, MedPAC said Congress should establish a budget-neutral adjustment that increases fee-schedule payments for primary-care physicians, along with a medical-home pilot program in Medicare. -- by Jennifer Lubell