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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

MedPAC Makes Recommendations on Work GPCIs and Outpatient Therapy

November 2, 2012—The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC or the commission) Nov. 1 voted on a recommendation for its mandated report on geographic adjustment of physician payments and the geographic practice cost index (GPCI) for physician work.  The recommendation will be part of a mandated report to Congress due June 15, 2015.  The Commission previously had discussed a draft recommendation at its October meeting [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 5].

The recommendation supports geographically adjusting physician work to reflect differences across labor markets.  Due to limitations in available data, the recommendation proposes letting the GPCI floors that currently are in place to expire at the end of the year, and maintains the current adjustment methodology, which adjusts for only one quarter of the geographic variation.

Commissioners generally were supportive of the recommendation, and the majority of commissioners voted to support the recommendation.  A few commissioners were concerned about the potential impact on rural practices.

MedPAC also voted on recommendations related to a mandated report on payment for outpatient therapy services.  The three recommendations, regarding improving program integrity, reducing therapy caps, and collecting functional status information, all passed unanimously. 

Other topics covered include: Medicare payment for ambulance services; reducing the hospitalization rate for beneficiaries receiving home health services; and addressing payment differences across ambulatory care settings.

The MedPAC staff presentations and the meeting transcript can be found on MedPAC’s website.  The next public meeting is Dec. 6-7.

Contact:

Mary Patton Wheatley, M.S.
Director, Health Care Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6297
Email: mwheatley@aamc.org

Jane Eilbacher
Policy and Regulatory Specialist
Telephone: 202-828-0896
Email: jeilbacher@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org