WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) today delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee hearing entitled “The Evolution of Quality in Medicare Part A.”
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“The Subcommittee will come to order. Welcome to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on The Evolution of Quality in Medicare Part A. In mid-May our health subcommittee held a hearing on implementation of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. Today’s hearing follows along the same theme used in that hearing. Once a major quality program has been operating for a few years in Medicare, we review the implementation and discuss lessons learned. During today’s hearing we will review the status of quality programs in place for Medicare Part A. The first item on our agenda is to review the many quality and pay-for-performance programs that are in place for hospitals. In addition to reporting quality measures, hospitals are also on the hook for readmission and hospital-acquired conditions penalties, as well as a value-based purchasing program.
“As you will hear from our witnesses today, a total of 8 percent is at risk for quality performance for hospitals. As we apply the lessons learned from hospital quality programs, we will explore how we should legislate within the post-acute care space. As we will hear from the witnesses today, post-acute care is lagging a bit behind where hospitals are.
“We will hear about the important changes that were made in the bipartisan, bicameral IMPACT Act of 2014, and we will hear directly from stakeholders on IMPACT’s implementation. Part of IMPACT’s story has already been told, as three of seven quality measures from IMPACT have already been implemented. Some of IMPACT’s story will be told over the next two years, as CMS continues to implement the four remaining measures. But, just because the IMPACT story is ongoing does not mean Congress should idly sit by and wait. Over the next few weeks, the Committee will debate and deliberate over the most effective ways to incentivize high quality, low cost care. Whether it is H.R. 3298, the PAC VBP bill introduced by Chairman Brady and Rep. Kind, or other ideas our Members have to offer, this Committee will explore these ideas.
“The last thing we will address in today’s hearing is how we can look to reduce regulatory burden for hospital and PAC providers. Our witnesses will highlight the many regulatory challenges that providers face in the Medicare program. These regulatory challenges are real and they distract from patient care.
“Therefore, we need to have a serious discussion about these challenges. Such discussions will likely result in real costs to the Medicare program but it is our goal to provide relief and pay for that relief through consensus-based quality payment reforms. Again, we are all here for the same reason today: to explore ways to better improve the quality of care for Medicare patients.”