The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee is proposing changes to Medicare reimbursement to skilled nursing facilities that could lower payments to those facilities performing high-volume of therapy related services. The report recommends lower payments made by medicare based upon the efficiencies of scale that the Council has stated that any high volume provide should have achieved by technology and standardization processes. Is the council recommending punishing quality providers by reducing their payments? The report criticizes that the current medicare system does not provide the best delivery and the use of private sector physicians and facilities is necessary to cope with the growing needs of the system. The council should recognize that private physicians are not government employees or programs and have every right to run their business as they see fit from an operational and financial perspective. The good news for those in private practice is that the proposal could be years from enactment and is contradictory to previous statements that it believes that highly efficient facilities are better for the long-term health of the medicare program (yeah, but if you cut their margins….). Additionally, Congress has routinely ignored the suggestions of this PAC.
For more information on the recommendations of the commission, click here.