MedPAC Recommends Patients Help Pay Home Health Care Costs
The advisory panel also urged that payments for physicians and hospitals be increased and that the home health care payment formula be reworked. In related news, a Ways & Means subcommittee hearing on Medicare payment issues quickly turned into an exploration of a GOP proposal to replace the program's current structure with a voucher system.
National Journal: Kick In For Home Health Care, MedPAC Advises
An independent board advising Congress on Medicare told lawmakers on Tuesday to bump up payments for doctors and hospitals but also suggested that patients should kick in for home health care treatment. The MedPAC recommendations increase payments for hospitals and doctors by 1 percent. The commission also calls for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Congress to rework the formula used to pay for home health care, which cost Medicare $19 billion in 2009 (McCarthy, 3/15).
The Hill: Panel Recommends New Medicare Payments For Hospice, Home Health
Congress should re-examine how Medicare pays for hospice, home health and nursing home stays, the panel that recommends reimbursement rates said Tuesday. The panel recommended that federal regulators tackle fraud in the home health industry while ensuring that patients' admission and length of stay in hospice is based on their care needs and not financial incentives (Pecquet, 3/15).
Politico Pro: Lawmakers Debate Medicare At Hearing
A Ways and Means subcommittee hearing Tuesday to explore Medicare payment recommendations turned into a debate over the future of the program and a Republican proposal to replace it with a voucher system. The top Democrat on the Health Subcommittee, Pete Stark of California, accused Republicans of trying to privatize Medicare. Meanwhile, panel Chairman Wally Herger, also of California, blamed the health care overhaul for cutting payments. The hearing was scheduled to consider the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's March annual report to Congress (Coughlin, 3/15).