Long-term care commission's work unlikely to fuel changes

Share this article:
LeadingAge's Larry Minnix
LeadingAge's Larry Minnix

The fiscal cliff avoidance deal seems to prove an adage about politics being the art of compromise. But as tradeoffs go, long-term care providers didn't fare too badly.

An automatic 2% Medicare payment cut was avoided, as were physician payment reductions. Wins also were racked up in areas such as therapy caps and bed taxes.

In fact, the only real defeat for the industry was that the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act was officially terminated.

Even here, the defeat was not total: In return, a national long-term care commission will be set up.

Its 15 members will look for ways to improve service delivery and payments. But chances of the panel acting as a catalyst for change are slim: The group is being hastily put together and must report recommendations within six months. Moreover, Congress is under no obligation to respond to its findings. 

According to most analysts, the commission is likely to develop a comprehensive report that will do little more than gather dust. 

In fact, the real fight in the short term is likely to be over raising the nation's debt limit. In an all-too-familiar development, President Obama and GOP leaders in Congress have dug in on opposing sides of the issue once again. 

Share this article:

More in News

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the broadest networks of skilled nursing facilities, study finds

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the ...

Midwestern hospitals spread referrals to the greatest variety of skilled nursing facilities and tap their favorite SNFs least often, according to a recently published analysis of nationwide referral patterns.

Bill would affect pay, scheduling for some nursing home housekeeping staff

Nursing homes could face more stringent scheduling requirements for housekeeping workers and might be on the hook to compensate them for last-minute shift changes under a bill proposed in both houses of Congress.

Joint Commission adds memory care accreditation

New memory care accreditation for nursing homes encourages staff to use a flexible, problem-solving approach to care for those with dementia, according to Joint Commission guidelines.