Payment Reform, COVID-19 May Derail a Unified Post-Acute Care Payment System

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2020

Prior to 2020, there was growing movement for a unified payment model for post-acute care providers. COVID derailed these discussions, but now there is more talk about them.

Long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, in-patient rehab centers and home health care providers operate under setting-specific Medicare reimbursement mechanisms.  A unified model would create one payment system for all post-acute providers.

“The idea was to flatten payment across the four post-acute care settings,” David Grabowski, a health care policy professor at Harvard Medical School, told Home Health Care News. “Rather than paying different payment rates for four different sets of services, it was an idea that the Medicare program could level the playing field and pay a common rate for patients who might be discharged to any of those four settings.”

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