The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105–33) to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. MedPAC publishes and shares their recommendations with Congress each March and June in hopes that the 17 member commission imparts wisdom to guide regulatory process and change. There is no better time than NOW for inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and hospital units to refute MedPAC's continued insistence that resources and care are equal between an IRF level of care and SNF level of care. If this were true, long ago specialty management and concentrated rehabilitation programs with a 24/7 emphasis on nursing, medical management and therapy interdisciplinary care would not have been supported at a hospital level of care.
If we are not careful in demonstrating the differences, a commission like MedPAC, who has informed congress that care is the SAME and should be paid the same, will support a notion that site neutral payments will solve Medicare short falls and everyone, including the beneficiaries, will have access to appropriate levels of service.