Legislators are looking to standardize post-acute care assessments and payments with a new bill that would make it easier for policymakers and providers to see whether one care setting is more appropriate for a patient than another.
After releasing a draft in March, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees have introduced the “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014.”
The act calls to change the assessment instruments used in a variety of post-acute care settings, defined by the houses as skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, in-patient rehab facilities and long-term care hospitals. These changes, the bill states, would allow providers to report standard data across a number of areas, including functional status, cognitive function and mental status, medical condition and prior function levels.
The resulting standardized data would show “whether patients treated and the care provided in different settings is, in fact, the same or whether one [post-acute care] setting is more appropriate,” the two committees noted in a joint statement.
These comparisons would then be used to implement post-acute payment reforms, according to the bill. It would require the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to evaluate and recommend to Congress features of a post-acute care payment system or systems “that establish payment rates according to individual characteristics instead of the setting where the patient is treated,” the measure states.
Access a breakdown of the measure.
Written by Emily Study