April 05, 2021

MedPAC Votes on Recommendations to Congress at April Meeting

On April 1 and 2, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) held their April 2021 virtual public meeting. Session topics included streamlining the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) portfolio of alternative payment models (APMs), Medicare’s indirect medical education payments, and private equity and Medicare (a congressional request).

During MedPAC’s session on APMs, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the draft recommendation to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, which states, “The Secretary should implement a more harmonized portfolio of fewer alternative payment models that are designed to work together to support the strategic objectives of reducing spending and improving quality.” This recommendation will appear in MedPAC’s June Report to the Congress. MedPAC is planning to continue its work on APMs in future cycles.

On April 1, MedPAC held a session on “Revising Medicare’s indirect medical education payments to better reflect teaching hospitals’ costs,” during which the Commission approved the draft recommendation to Congress. The recommendation states that, “The Congress should require CMS to transition to empirically justified indirect medical education adjustments to both inpatient and outpatient Medicare Payments.” More information on this recommendation will also appear in MedPAC’s June Report.

In 2020, the Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means requested a MedPAC session on the role that private equity (PE) plays in Medicare. MedPAC staff presented an overview of PE and its structure; including various gaps in Medicare ownership data, business models that PE firms use, effects of PE ownership on cost, beneficiaries and providers, and extent of PE involvement in Medicare Advantage. MedPAC will provide an informational chapter on this topic in their June Report to the Congress, but the request from Congress did not ask for any recommendations.