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Chairman Brady Opening Statement at Health Subcommittee Hearing on the Evolution of Quality in Medicare Part A

September 07, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following opening statement at a Health Subcommittee hearing entitled “The Evolution of Quality in Medicare Part A.”

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing live online.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Chairman Tiberi for holding this important hearing, and thank you to all of our witnesses for being here.

“Today’s hearing is a valuable opportunity to examine how existing Medicare policies are incentivizing hospitals and post-hospitalization providers to deliver high-quality, cost-efficient care. This is a critically important issue for several reasons.

“First, it is key to our efforts to preserve Medicare for the long-term. By incentivizing quality over quantity, we can improve care, reduce duplication and waste, and bring down costs to the program.

“Second – and perhaps most importantly – Medicare payment policies can significantly impact the ability of beneficiaries to access the high-quality care they need and deserve.

“Last year, Congress passed landmark legislation – which has now become law – to reform and modernize the way Medicare pays physicians. The bill put the emphasis on quality rather than quantity, a policy shift that will make a real difference in the lives of Medicare beneficiaries.

“But physician payment policies are just one piece of the puzzle. To ensure the Medicare program is truly delivering the high-quality care seniors deserve, we also need to improve the way it pays post-acute, or after hospitalization providers.

“And we need to take the same value-based approach, rewarding providers for how well they serve Medicare patients – not how often.

“Last July, I introduced bipartisan legislation with Congressman Kind to help accomplish this important goal. Our bill, the “Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act,” takes meaningful steps to strengthen Medicare for the long-term and improve access to high-quality care for current and future beneficiaries.

“By providing the right incentives, this legislation will bring increased competition and innovation to Medicare while lowering costs to the program. 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.

“Today’s hearing is a critical step in advancing patient-focused solutions like this one – solutions that build on our past successes in payment reform to improve Medicare for all current and future beneficiaries.

“Again, thank you to Chairman Tiberi for his leadership in this effort and to all our witnesses for being here today. We look forward to hearing your perspectives on this important issue.”