The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recently been examining hospitals’ increased use of “observation status” and its effects on beneficiaries and other stakeholders. MedPAC has referenced possible policy changes that could help offset increased costs resulting from hospital short-stay policy recommendations. One of the options under consideration that was discussed was the expansion of the post-acute hospital transfer policy to include “early” discharges to hospice care. The extension of the post-acute transfer policy to include hospice was examined by HHS and the OIG in a May report. Click here to see it.
In its March meeting, MedPAC indicated that rather than considering a recommendation on including hospice in the post-acute transfer policy at this time, it instead intends to explore the issue in more depth as part of future meetings before issuing a recommendation.
NAHC has expressed concern about extension of the post-acute transfer policy to hospice in its discussions with MedPAC. NAHC believes that election of hospice care represents a decision to forego curative care, and that post-acute care discharge to hospice represents a “shift in focus of treatment” that would create a financial incentive for hospitals to retain patients on care. Click here to read NAHC’s full letter to MedPAC.
Click here to read more from NAHC.