The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is proposing that Congress increase payment rates for both hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payments systems by 1% in 2012, as the commission voted on draft recommendations announced last month.
MedPAC urges payment increases
At a public meeting, commission members also proposed that Congress require the HHS secretary to make adjustments to inpatient payment rates in future years to fully recover all over-payments because of documentation and coding improvements.
The commission approved a recommendation proposing that Congress increase payments to the physician fee schedule by 1% in 2012. This includes office visits, surgical procedures and therapeutic services in all settings, according to a presentation by Cristina Boccuti, a policy analyst for MedPAC. Boccuti's presentation also emphasized the “mounting frustration” from providers and patients because of temporary fixes and looming cuts to the sustainable growth rate payment formula.
Last month, the commission did not offer a draft recommendation for ambulatory surgery centers for 2012. But on Thursday, commission members approved—with one commissioner opposing—a recommendation to implement a 0.5% increase in payment rates for ASCs in 2012 concurrent with a stipulation that requires these facilities to submit cost and quality data. MedPAC Chairman Glenn Hackbarth said the commission will make it “real clear that they go together.”
Commissioners will continue their public meetings this week to vote on post-acute payment policies before issuing a report to Congress on March 15.
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