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  • IMPACT Act Standardizing Postacute Care Data Signed Into Law

    Legislation that would standardize data used across postacute care (PAC) settings has been signed into law and will join a larger package of reforms. APTA worked to influence this legislation.

    The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act signed by President Barack Obama on Monday directs the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to standardize patient assessment data, quality, and resource use measures for PAC providers including home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs).

    The House and Senate passed the legislation in September.

    APTA and other supporters of the legislation believe standardization will allow HHS to compare quality across PAC settings, improve hospital and PAC discharge planning, and use this standardized data to reform PAC payments in the future.

    The new law will:

    • Require PAC providers to begin reporting standardized patient assessment data at times of admission and discharge by October 1, 2018, for SNFs, IRFs, and LTCHs and by January 1, 2019, for HHAs.
    • Require new quality measures on domains beginning October 1, 2016, through January 1, 2019, including functional status, skin integrity, medication reconciliation, incidence of major falls, and patient preference regarding treatment and discharge.
    • Require resource use measures by October 1, 2016, including Medicare spending per beneficiary, discharge to community, and hospitalization rates of potentially preventable readmissions.
    • Require the Secretary of HHS to provide confidential feedback reports to providers. The Secretary will make PAC performance available to the public in future years.
    • Require MedPAC and HHS to study alternative PAC payment models, with reports due to Congress in 2016 for MedPAC and 2021-2022 for HHS.
    • Require the Secretary to develop processes using data to assist providers and beneficiaries with discharge planning from inpatient or PAC settings.

    The Committees that introduced this legislation have provided a summary (pdf) that can be accessed on their website. In the coming months, details of the legislation will be developed through the implementation process. APTA will be engaged with regulators throughout this process and will continue to provide updates to APTA membership about the application of this law.

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