The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), is a 17-member independent Congressional agency that advises the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. Created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, MedPAC is comprised of part-time commissioners appointed by the Comptroller General. They serve three-year terms, subject to renewal. The commissioners have expertise in the fields of financing and health care services delivery and serve staggered terms, with five or six commission terms expiring each year. The commissioners are supported by an executive director and a staff of analysts with backgrounds in economics, health policy, public health or medicine.
MedPAC advises Congress on payments to insurers that, through the Medicare Advantage program, offer private health plans to Medicare beneficiaries; and payments to hospitals, physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient dialysis services, hospices, skilled nursing facilities, home health services, inpatient rehabilitation facility services and long-term acute care hospital services that participate in the traditional fee-for-service program. It also analyzes access to care, quality of care and other Medicare issues.
In its effort to inform Congress, MedPAC commissioners hold monthly public meetings to discuss policy issues, consider and comment on reports and proposed regulations issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, hear testimony, and brief congressional staff. MedPAC makes recommendations to Congress in two reports issued each year in March and June. Commissioners consider reports from staff research, presentations by policy experts and comments from interested parties. Commission members and staff seek input on Medicare issues by meeting with staff from congressional committees, officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), health care researchers, health care providers and beneficiary advocates.
Transcripts of the meetings and MedPAC commissioners’ biographies are available on its website, www.medpac.gov.
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