In her latest piece for Morning Consult, District Policy Group President Ilisa Halpern Paul examines the House Ways and Means Committee’s recent draft bill, the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act. Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) noted that the proposal was being released “as part of the Committee’s broader effort on comprehensive Medicare reform, addressing the problems associated with Medicare’s two-midnights policy, short inpatient stays, outpatient observation stays, auditing, and appeals.”
Considering that the end of the year is less than a month away and the 114th Congress will be in full swing before long, Ilisa acknowledges that no action is anticipated on the bill in the next few weeks. That said, its introduction suggests that hospital payments and Medicare reform are on legislators’ minds – a promising thought to parties who know of the system’s inefficiencies in the last few years. As Ilisa notes, “What remains to be seen is how important payment policy issues will be addressed in the 114th Congress with the current patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate expiring just as the moratorium on [the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program] audits of short-stays also runs out of time.