June 19,2013

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless/Antonia Ferrier (Hatch), 202-225-4515
Sean Neary (Baucus), 202-225-4515
Sarah Swinehart (Camp), 202-226-4774
Josh Drobnyk/Alex Nguyen (Levin), 202-225-8933

Senate Finance, Ways and Means Leaders Call For Stakeholder Input on Post-Acute Care

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Senate Finance Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) joined together today to call for ideas on how to improve care for Medicare patients.

In a letter to key stakeholders, the Chairmen and Ranking Members ask for ideas on how to strengthen post-acute care (PAC), a range of medical care services that support a patient’s continued recovery from illness.  Post-acute care includes recovery in Long Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), and Home Health Agencies (HHAs).

The lawmakers also called for policy proposals to improve payment accuracy, combat fraud and address variation in utilization.  In addition, the Committees request that stakeholders provide information and ideas on the types of reforms that will help to advance the goal of improving patient quality of care and care transitions, while rationalizing payment systems and improving program efficiency.

In announcing the letter, the Chairmen and Ranking Members stated, “Medicare post-acute care providers play a vital role, providing important services to beneficiaries recovering from a serious hospital stay.  We are troubled by the substantial variation in Medicare spending, utilization, quality, and margins within the post-acute sector.  Our goal should be to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the right post-acute care, in the right setting at the right time with the highest level of quality.  And it should be executed in a responsible manner to ensure taxpayers and beneficiaries are paying the appropriate price for the care that is delivered.”

Comments should be sent by August 19, 2013 to postacutecarereform@mail.house.gov and postacutecarereform@finance.senate.gov.  The letter can be read here.