If you hang around long enough, you learn there are only two things long-term care providers fear after Republicans and Democrats. That would be hospitals and doctors.
With funding and philosophical challenges permeating their day-to-day operations, a dwindling number of county-run nursing homes find themselves at a perilous crossroads
All eyes will be on Congress when it reconvenes Monday. Lawmakers will have just four days to act if they are to derail automatic spending cuts that would take 2% off the top of Medicare reimbursements. Senior housing and home- and community-based care funding would have it worse, both facing funding cuts of 5.1%. Many are resigned to the idea that the highly partisan Congress will not stop the "sequestration" from hitting, unlike late last year. But how badly it will ultimately affect long-term care and other services, no one really knows. There also has been speculation that lawmakers will let the sequestration cuts hit but then act to soften their blow in the near future. One silver lining for providers: Medicaid funding would not be affected by sequestration.
In a State of the Union address largely focused on jobs and the economy, President Obama challenged a divided Congress to avoid automatic funding cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, raise the minimum wage and relax immigration rules.
After more than a year on the campaign trail, it all comes down to Tuesday. Elections across the country, topped by the battle for the presidency, will take place. The results could set in motion the framework for new regulatory and reimbursement processes for long-term care and other providers. Or they could further reforms already begun. Dozens of key U.S. congressional races also will be of interest to providers. Beyond the typical local implications, elected members of Congress will be able to dictate the direction of any national agenda for healthcare and funding reform.
Congress and federal health officials announced separate avenues of funding for the prevention and response to cases of elder abuse Thursday.
The federal government is readying for the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but what that will mean for long-term care funding remains uncertain.
Long-term care providers and other caregivers — as well as significant other groups of people around the country — will be anxiously watching to see if the Senate and the House can get together on compromise funding legislation before the end of the year. At risk with the dawning of 2012 will be major funding cutbacks to Medicare doctors, expiration of the Medicare therapy exceptions process, among other items. An impasse was created after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a package that included a two-month extension to payroll tax cuts last weekend, but then the Republican-led House voted down the same measure. Millions of people will be affected one way or another.
The opening of the American Health Care Association's annual meeting took on a familiar air Monday afternoon in Las Vegas: A lot of proud retrospectives of a year gone by, prerequisite hand-wringing about the challenges ahead and numerous rally-the-troops messages from various leaders among the host group.
I haven't heard them pronounced this way yet, but long-term care providers might want to consider it when it comes to ACOs. Instead of spelling it out, as in A-C-O, say it phonetically, as in "Ache-O."
The issues facing Medicaid coverage in assisted living are fundamentally economic, not regulatory, according to at least one participant in Tuesday's roundtable discussion on assisted living held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
The long-term care industry would be the third-most impacted healthcare field if state Medicaid funding is converted into block grants, according to a new analysis from Bloomberg News.
The recession has seriously bruised states over the last year and they will continue to face fiscal difficulties, according to reports released last week by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers.
The U.S. House of Representatives officially released its version of healthcare reform legislation Tuesday. And, as requested by President Obama, the reform package should come to a vote by the August recess, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.