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Preparing for IMPACT

Written by: Bob Habasevich, PT on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 Posted in: Inpatient Rehab

The Timelines to Keep You on Track!

It has been a month since the President signed into law the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act. This Act focuses on improving the contribution of post-acute care to our nation’s objectives of improving the health of the population, enhancing the experience and outcomes of the patient, and reducing per capita cost of care for the benefit of communities.

Providers in Post-Acute Care will immediately take notice that change has come to some of the most time-honored ways of doing things in SNF, Home Care, IRF and LTACH care venues. One specific example is what we refer to, measure and report as patient function. CMS will standardize this for all clinicians and require each to report the same data for all Medicare beneficiaries. Standard measure will not only describe the patient’s functional status but also measure the change resulting from the clinician’s care. We should anticipate that these results would ultimately appear on public display within the CMS Healthcare Compare website to assist patients and their families in making choices for care.

The IMPACT Act lays the foundations for change in our fragmented system of post-acute care by standardizing data requirements for patient assessment and quality reporting. The intended result of which will be a behavioral change to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of post-acute care and management. It may feel a little like being herded along a road of value-based purchasing to how we fix our fee for service payment system, and this would be an accurate perception. We can expect the shepherd’s guidance to appear in time for the 2016 New Year. Providers should be aware of these milestones along the path to a new payment system for post-acute care.

 

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