The current fervor to overhaul the nation’s health care delivery system has legislators discussing how to change the way post-acute care providers, including long-term acute care hospitals, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, are reimbursed for treating Medicare beneficiaries. One potential solution endorsed by both President Obama and the Senate Finance Committee entails bundling payments for acute and post-acute care services provided within the first 30 days after a Medicare beneficiary is discharged from an acute care hospital.
This proposal is gaining increasing attention in Washington D.C. as both Senators Baucus and Kennedy appear poised to release bills this month to enact substantial healthcare reform. Carefully crafted bundling legislation that takes into consideration the reimbursement needs of post-acute care providers and the potential pitfalls of a bundled payment model could produce a new and tenable model for the provision of post-acute care services. Please contact one of the authors for a copy of their white paper, To Bundle or Not to Bundle: Lawmakers Explore the Question.