This week, President Obama signed into law the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (the “IMPACT Act” or “Act”). The IMPACT Act’s provisions will affect a broad range of post-acute care (“PAC”) providers: home health agencies (“HHAs”), skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (“IRFs”), and long-term acute care hospitals (“LTCHs”). Various facets of daily operations of these PAC providers will change as a result of the Act: what information PAC providers must collect and report, the information the public will receive about PAC providers, and even the method of determining future Medicare payments to PAC providers, among others.
Policymakers have long expressed concerns with the disparate methods of paying for PAC services that may, to some degree, be substitutes for one another or complements to each other. According to the preamble of the bill, the Act is intended to provide standardized assessment data for quality improvement, payment, and discharge planning purposes across the spectrum of PAC providers.
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