The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent Congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33) to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. MedPAC recently announced the release of its 2014 data book on health care spending and the Medicare program. The 200+ page MedPAC Data Book provides information on national health care and Medicare spending as well as Medicare beneficiary demographics, dual-eligible beneficiaries, quality of care in the Medicare program, and Medicare beneficiary and other payer liability. It also examines provider settings — such as hospitals and post-acute care — and presents data on Medicare spending, beneficiaries’ access to care in the setting (measured by the number of beneficiaries using the service, number of providers, volume of services, length of stay, or through direct surveys), and the sector’s Medicare profit margins, if applicable. In addition, it covers the Medicare Advantage program and prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries, including Part D.
As one example, under Section 8 Post Acute Care, there is data reflecting that a growing share of fee-for-service Medicare stays and payments go to freestanding SNFs and for-profit SNFs with the following bullet points: