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President signs Improving Medicare Post Acute Care Transformation Act

President Obama signed into law the Improving Medicare Post Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), bipartisan legislation that puts in place new and streamlined quality measures for nursing homes, home health agencies, and other post-acute care providers participating in Medicare.

quality_measures.jpgThe Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4994/S. 2553), a bi-partisan bill drafted by the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, was introduced on June 26, 2014. The bill had been circulated in draft form in March, and the bill that was introduced responds to much of the post-acute care (PAC) community’s feedback, including several specific recommendations made by the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL). The bill would require the use of standardized patient assessment instruments by post-acute providers to provide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with patient data that can be compared across the post-acute care settings.

The Act mandates that post-acute settings begin reporting of quality measures starting on October 1, 2016, and standardized patient assessment data by October 1, 2018. It is widely perceived that this information is necessary to the development of Medicare PAC payment reform. This legislation will have a significant impact on expediting CMS’ use of data to compare quality, cost and other factors across settings.

The bill was on a fast track for action. The House sponsors indicated the proposal would bypass the traditional committee mark-up process. The House passed the measure on September 17 by voice vote, under a suspension of the rules. The Senate cleared the proposal by unanimous consent on September 19, also by unanimous consent. The legislation is headed to President Barack Obama and he is expected to sign the legislation

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Tags: Contract Rehab Services, medicare, IMPACT 2014, Therapy Management Services, Physical Therapy