September 14, 2023

September MedPAC Meeting Discusses Payment Policies

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met virtually Sept. 7–8 to discuss several payment policies. MedPAC is a non-partisan, independent legislative branch commission created to advise Congress about Medicare-related issues.

Commissioners discussed the draft chapter that describes Medicare’s overall financial situation. Medicare spending is projected to grow by 7 to 8% per year, on average, from 2022 to 2031. Medicare spending growth is driven by three factors: inflation, growth in number of beneficiaries, and growth in the volume and intensity of services delivered per beneficiary. When Medicare increases payment rates for providers, it increases beneficiaries’ premiums and cost sharing.

Commissioners also discussed Medicare Advantage (MA) topics, as MedPAC is planning to include several related chapters in next year’s reports to Congress, including standardizing benefits in MA plans and improving MedPAC’s estimate of MA coding intensity. Commissioners shared their concerns about the differences between fee-for-service Medicare and the MA program for frail beneficiaries, suggestions to look further into the quality data of MA programs, and policy options of potential standardization of various MA plans.

For questions, contact Kimberly Greck, American College of Radiology®(ACR®) Senior Economic Policy Analyst.