In July 2015, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman, introduced a measure called the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015. Since that time, the bill has been under committee consideration, but just over a year later, the buzz around Washington indicates that the bill may come out of committee for a vote. The current text of the bill is relatively brief and introduces three policies to govern post-acute care providers that treat Medicare patients, including home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and hospice agencies.
Two of the three measures contained within the bill are housekeeping measures. The first repeals the market basket cut for post-acute care providers mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which was designed to offset the cost of other provisions of the act. The Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015 would eliminate that reduction to pave the way for a value-based purchasing program that imposes its own reduction in Medicare reimbursement. The other housekeeping measure would institute a "sunset date" for the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program in 2026. The program begins in 2019 and pays skilled nursing providers based on their performance on key measures, such as rehospitalizations.