June 17—The program to reduce hospital readmissions among Medicare patients, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implemented in October 2012, is in need of refinement according to the June 2013 report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). 

According to the MedPAC report, readmissions have declined slightly as a result of the program; however there is more progress to be made. The report recommends refining the program to establish target readmission rates, employing an all-condition readmission measure to more accurately gauge performance, and adjusting readmission penalties based on the percentage of low-income patients a hospital treats. 

Other topics addressed in the MedPAC report include examining Medicare payments for similar services provided in different care settings, bundling post-acute care services, and addressing care needs for dual-eligible beneficiaries. 

Publication Date: Monday, June 17, 2013