Document Type

Educational Resource

Publication Date

2-2021

Source Publication

The History & Status of the IMPACT Act

Abstract

The ability to effectively study and compare Medicare patients—and the cost and outcomes associated with their care—has long been, and continues to be limited, by the lack of readily comparable, patient-level, clinical data. This is due primarily to Medicare’s reliance and use of historically-developed, and limited administrative data—data derived from traditional insurance claims records, not patient treatment records. Critics of this situation have long called for the development of more comprehensive patient-level and clinically focused data, particularly in support of increasing efforts to compare and promote higher quality of care in the system.

Calls to develop more comprehensive patient outcome data in the post-acute care (PAC) sector led Congress to mandate the development of a common patient assessment tool and the enactment of legislation— The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014. This policy brief explores the intent and goals behind IMPACT, progress on the completion of IMPACT requirements, and the implications stemming from the implementation of IMPACT. In addition, the brief explores the effect the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and recent payment reforms has had on IMPACT—two important factors that were not anticipated when IMPACT was contemplated.

The policy brief concludes with a review of current legislative actions pertaining to IMPACT—a recent bipartisan oversight letter from 17 U.S. Senators and a bill resetting the IMPACT timeline introduced by several members of the U.S. House of Representatives. This brief is meant to aide policymakers and other interested parties as they weigh whether it is still possible to achieve IMPACT’s original intent to compare and possibly substitute the services rendered to similar patients treated at different PAC provider venues.

Comments

The History & Status of the IMPACT Act by Lisa M. Grabert.

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