House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing on Thursday, May 18, titled “The Current Status of the Medicare Program, Payment Systems, and Extenders.” The subcommittee’s hearing focused on opportunities to create more efficiency in Medicare and better serve the more than 50 million seniors who receive care through its many programs. Specifically, members reviewed various Medicare payment policies—including post-acute care (PAC)—as well as several Medicare programs that are set to expire before the end of the year. In his opening remarks, Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) emphasized the need for reform in the Medicare program—including PAC. Reform initiatives would focus on bringing cost-savings to the program.
Potential cost-savings and efficiencies were highlighted by the hearing’s only witness—Mark Miller, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC). Mr. Miller began his testimony with a general overview of CMS and Medicare spending. He continued by highlighting some of the recommendations for PAC reform in the MedPAC March 2017 Report to Congress. After a lively question and answer committee session with Mr. Miller, it was clear that Chairman Tiberi intends to introduce Medicare and possibly PAC Reform legislation sometime this year. The Academy will continue to closely monitor developments on possible Medicare and PAC reform legislation in addition to active engagement with the PAC Coalition.