Letters, We Get Letters…

Good morning, ProviderNation.

Congress wants to hear from you.

In a big letter released yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee are asking “stakeholders” for help on cutting down on Medicare’s post-acute expenses.

Medicare spent $62 billion on post-acute care services in 2011. That’s too much, the Honorable Gentlemen are saying.

“We find the substantial variation in Medicare spending, utilization, quality, and Medicare profit margins within the post-acute sector troubling,” the letter says. “Our goal should be to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the right [post-acute care provider], in the right setting at the right time, with the highest level of quality and that taxpayers and beneficiaries are paying the right amount for the care that is delivered.”

The letter is signed by Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Senate Finance Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ways & Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.), and Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.)

Responses are due Aug. 19. But American Health Care Association President & CEO Gov. Mark Parkinson says he’s raring to go.

“We welcome this opportunity to share our proposals to reduce readmissions and focus payment reforms on patient condition, rather than the location in which care is provided,” he said yesterday.

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