Home Health & Hospice

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about MedPAC? What is their role in the Medicare program?

Homecare Insider, March 25, 2013

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about MedPAC? What is their role in the Medicare program?

A: MedPAC describes itself as an independent congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1977. MedPAC's mission is to advise Congress on issues that affect the Medicare program and recommend solutions. These issues can include payments to private health plans participating in Medicare and providers in the traditional Medicare program. MedPAC also looks into and dissects issues such as access to care and quality of care.

MedPAC meets often with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), healthcare researchers, healthcare providers, and ­beneficiary advocates to help them with their recommendations to Congress.

MedPAC is made up of 17 commission members who all serve in leadership roles within different healthcare fields. Membership has the following guidelines:

  • Each commissioner is appointed to a three-year term by the comptroller general
  • Appointments are staggered so that every year, the terms of five to six commissioners expire

The commissioners have a support team of analysts who have studied economics, health policy, public health, and medicine.

MedPAC meets publicly when it discusses policy issues and creates its recommendations to Congress. The transcripts of all public meetings are available on MedPAC's website so that affected parties can be informed of what is being discussed. Each year, in March and June, MedPAC issues a report to Congress stating its healthcare recommendations. The report includes narratives, data, and rationale related to the recommendations made. Once the report is submitted to Congress, the usual process includes meetings/hearings to listen to MedPAC members. It is completely up to Congress whether to act on those recommendations.

 

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