Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Mark Parkinson, President & CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), following today’s Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) meeting which included a discussion on site-neutral payments for select conditions treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and skilled nursing care centers:
“AHCA is encouraged by MedPAC’s ongoing discussions exploring a site-neutral payment system between IRFs and skilled nursing care centers. As we heard today, there are many similarities between patients and patient outcomes in both settings. When Medicare reimburses different providers at different rates for the same post-acute services, that is not beneficial for the patient nor the taxpayer. A site-neutral payment system would encourage providers to offer higher-quality services in the most effective manner.
“Instead of cutting providers across-the-board, a site-neutral approach promotes efficiency while protecting and empowering patients. These are the kind of responsible solutions we need in Washington, and AHCA is prepared to work together with Congress in bringing this solution to the forefront.”
AHCA’s former Chairman of the Board of Governors, Neil Pruitt, Jr. wrote a white paper detailing the advantages of a site-neutral payments system when he served on the Long-Term Care Commission in 2013. A greater federal emphasis on site-neutral payment policies was among the recommendations to ultimately come from the Commission.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental 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.