Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Hearing on The Evolution of Quality in Medicare Part A

Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health

Hearing on The Evolution of Quality in Medicare Part A

Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) opened the hearing picking up where the subcommittee left off in May, with a hearing on implementation of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

“Once a major quality program has been operating for a few years in Medicare, we review the implementation and discuss lessons learned ... The first item on our agenda is to review the many quality and pay-for-performance programs that are in place for hospitals. In addition to reporting quality measures, hospitals are also on the hook for readmission and hospital- acquired conditions penalties, as well as a value-based purchasing program.”

“Over the next few weeks, the Committee will debate and deliberate over the most effective ways to incentivize high-quality, low-cost care. Whether it is H.R. 3298, the [Value Based Purchasing] bill introduced by Chairman Brady and Rep. Kind, or other ideas our members have to offer, this committee will explore these ideas.”

Aside from the nod to full committee Chairman Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) bill with Rep. Ron Kind (R-Wis.), Brady stopped by to plug the Medicare Post Acute Care Value Purchasing Act (HR 3298) himself.

“By providing the right incentives, this legislation will bring increased competition and innovation to Medicare while lowering costs to the program,” Brady said during opening statements. “At the same time, the bill will raise the bar for patient care nationwide. It rewards providers who set themselves apart in delivering excellent care to Medicare patients.”

The subcommittee heard witness testimony from:

Barbara Gage – Associate Research Professor, George Washington University, Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy Research

Elisabeth Wynn – Senior Vice President, Health Economics and Finance, Greater New York Hospital Association

Steve Guenthner – President, Almost Family, a home health provider

Gregory Worsowicz, MD – President, American Academy of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation

Subcommittee members rushed the tail end of the hearing to make it to 4 p.m. votes.