CMS mulls cuts in Medicare SNF payments

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is contemplating plans to adjust Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in 2008 in order to prepare for President Bush's FY 2009 budget, according to CMS Deputy Administrator Herb B. Kuhn.

SNF payments are one of five changes the agency has proposed to cut costs over the next five years. Other prospective changes include: changes for inpatient hospitals and hospices; eliminating the budget neutrality adjustment affecting the wage index for hospices; revamping inpatient hospital transfer policy; and expanding CMS policy on medical conditions acquired by patients while hospitalized, such as a fall or infections.

President Bush's budget would require the reduction in Medicare spending by $178 billion over the next five years. These changes would reduce spending by roughly $8 billion over five years, according to Kuhn.  

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