Cuts illustrate need for new business models, experts say

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Anne Tumlinson
Anne Tumlinson
As the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and other groups seek to trim public funding for long-term care, the industry needs to mesh with new, strong partners. Such action is the only sure way to preserve margins while improving care, several experts recently noted. 

“Nursing homes need to create partnerships with other health systems,” said Anne Tumlinson, senior vice president at Avalere Health. She added that skilled nursing facilities are “going to need closer relationships with different actors in the healthcare systems to help improve rehospitalization rates.”

Tying Medicare payments to rehospitalization rates — which was among  MedPAC's recent recommendations — is a step in the right direction, according to Alan G. Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

But Rosenbloom notes that unnecessary rehospitalizations are a problem that should be dealt with systematically, not “piecemeal.”

Apart from the potentially positive rehospitalization changes, cuts to Medicare reimbursements will continue to “hit hard” for providers, Tumlinson said.

“I would be uneasy if I were a provider,” she said. She added that she thinks SNFs' reliance on Medicare to cross-subsidize Medicaid “will diminish.”
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