The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act, which is legislation with a focus on standardizing post-acute care (PAC) data, has passed in both the United States House and Senate. According to a news release from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the IMPACT Act would instruct the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to standardize patient assessment data, quality, and resource use measures for PAC providers. PAC providers include home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).

The APTA news release notes that the legislation will require PAC providers to start reporting standardized patient assessment data at times of admission and discharge by October 1, 2018, for IRFs, LTCHs, and SNFs, and by January 1, 2019, for HHAs. In addition, the newly passed legislation would require resource use measures by October 1, 2016, including Medicare spending per beneficiary, discharge to community, and hospitalization rates of possibly preventable readmissions.

Beginning October 1, 2016, through January 1, 2019, IMPACT will also require new quality measures on domains, including incidence of major falls, medication reconciliation, skin integrity, functional status, and patient preference regarding discharge and treatment. The legislation will also require the secretary of HHS to provide confidential feedback reports to providers as well as develop processes utilizing data to assist providers and beneficiaries with discharge planning from inpatient or PAC settings, as indicated on the APTA news release.

Finally, IMPACT would also mandate that MedPAC and HHS to study alternative PAC payment models due to Congress in 2016 and 2021 to 2022, respectively, according to APTA.

The congressional committees have provided a summary, including timelines. To view the summary, click here.

[Source: APTA]