AHCA Reacts to MedPAC Report on Therapy Services and Bundled Payment Initiatives
Post-acute care payment reforms deserve a thoughtful approach, urges Parkinson
Washington, DC – Following the release of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) June 2013 Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System, which includes chapters on Medicare payment for outpatient therapy services and bundling post-acute care services, Mark Parkinson, the President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) issued the following statement:
“AHCA welcomes a thoughtful dialogue on how outpatient therapy services covered under Medicare Part B can become more efficient, as long as decisions do not jeopardize seniors’ access to these services. While AHCA appreciates many of MedPAC’s recommendations, the commission continues to underestimate the value of Part B therapy services for our nation’s seniors.
“Skilled nursing care centers provide critical therapies that maintain or rehabilitate the medically frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities. Currently, there is no global standard to measure the value of this therapy. But we all know that patients, their families and their doctors want what is best for the individual, not what’s on a government budget line. Without consistent guidelines which produce data demonstrating the improved outcomes therapy services provide, current suggested policy changes are short-sighted and only threaten seniors’ ability to reach their highest potential. We encourage MedPAC to reconsider its recommendations which would cap access to the care seniors and their providers believe is medically necessary.
“Additionally, MedPAC raised the prospect of a bundled payment system, and AHCA is encouraged by this ongoing discussion of person-centered care. The post-acute care profession is eager to see the results of the bundled payment demo currently underway within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), of which a few AHCA skilled nursing members are taking part. Before implementing full-fledged reform into this still unknown proposal, AHCA encourages caution and careful examination of the CMMI demo, to ensure seniors will continue to receive the care they need.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 11,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.