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Congress introduces Medicare transitions of care legislation

September 18, 2012
by pamela tabar
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A bipartisan group of congress members introduced the Medicare Transitional Care Act of 2012 on Friday, a bill designed to provide specific payments to Medicare providers and beneficiaries for care coordination activities.

Stemming partly from the June report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the bill proposes specific payment for transitional care services, in an effort to staunch the alarming rates of 30-day rehospitalizations. Care coordination can reduce length of stay and improve care outcomes, especially for residents recovering from stroke, according to a literature review published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The bill has garnered support among healthcare groups as a way to reduce rehospitalizations and costs, improve accountability and close care gaps as patients move from one care setting to another.

“The Medicare Transitional Care Act puts in place the necessary infrastructure to foster care transition interventions that have proven successful, which will lead to better health outcomes for patients and offer real cost savings for patients, the health care system and taxpayers,” said Cheri Lattimer, executive director of the National Transitions of Care Coalition in a statement.

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