The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s latest report to Congress was submitted Friday with previously known recommendations for payment levels. Included in the report is a body of research indicating that long-term care providers are showing progress in quality improvement activities.
Potentially avoidable hospital readmissions dropped 1% during the study period of 2011-2012, which is the first decline in more than a decade. The study also revealed great potential for more improvement in the future, with half of all skilled nursing facility readmissions to a hospital shown as potentially avoidable.
Researchers also noted there is reason for optimism in three other quality-improvement areas. This applies some degree of pressure on providers. Improvement activities should find their way into Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) activities. Beginning in 2018, skilled nursing facilities with high preventable readmission rates will become eligible for reimbursement cuts. This was proposed in the White House budget unveiled earlier this month.