Each report ends with a Chairman’s recommendation. For hospice, the recommendation is:
“The Congress should eliminate the update to the hospice payment rates for fiscal year 2018.”MedPAC has made this same payment update recommendation to Congress for the past 4 years, at minimum. There is one important thing to remember about MedPAC, however. As its name indicates, MedPAC is an advisory commission to Congress. Congress must take proactive steps to implement MedPAC recommendations, and it has not done so with regard to the payment update recommendation in recent years.
However, Congress does read the reports and once policy proposals are made, they live forever. You can never rule out Congress acting on recommendations now or in the future. Keep an eye out for more updates from MedPAC as the release of their annual report approaches.
By Karen Davis, MA
Manager, Health Policy Analysis
Follow the Hospice Action Network blog for additional articles of interest.