Home Health & Hospice

IMPACT Act introduced in House

Homecare Insider, July 28, 2014

On Saturday, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4994) was introduced in the House of Representatives and subsequently referred to both the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.  
According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, the bill “has the support of a wide cross section of Medicare provider and consumer groups, and is likely to pass the House.”
The IMPACT Act would facilitate inter-provider collaboration by implementing a standardized assessment tool for measuring quality, payment, and discharge planning across the entire scope of post-acute care (PAC), which includes home health, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals.
The bill, which specifies a 2019 implementation date, has three main objectives that implicate the spectrum of PAC providers:
  1. Require PAC providers to report standardized patient assessment data, data on quality measures, and data on resource use and other measures
  2. Require the data to be interoperable to allow for its exchange among PAC and other providers to give them access to longitudinal information so as to facilitate coordinated care and improve Medicare beneficiary outcomes
  3. Modify PAC assessment instruments applicable to PAC providers for the submission of standardized patient assessment data on such providers and to enable assessment data comparison across all such providers
The bill also provides directives for the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission regarding evaluating and reporting on PAC performances, conducting further research on the Medicare program and its beneficiaries, and establishing appropriate payment systems and rates.
The IMPACT Act has eight bipartisan cosponsors in the House. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance on Saturday, as well.