Medicare Part B Therapy Caps
With $9 billion in Budget Relief Act sequester cuts to the U.S. skilled nursing facility (SNF) sector now just weeks away following the latest cut of at least $600 million in Medicare Part B therapy payments after passage of the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), we are making it a priority this month to ensure Congress carefully reviews the cascade of budget and regulatory changes since 2009 that leaves the nation's second largest health facility employer facing a staggering $65.6 billion in Medicare funding reductions over the next ten years.
Providers generally lauded a deal that kept the nation from going over the so-called fiscal cliff in January. Spared were automatic Medicare cuts to physicians and facilities.
Some good news—and just in time for the holidays. Nursing home providers can ring in 2011 knowing that residents will not be denied Medicare Part B outpatient therapy and the RUG-IV system won't change.
Another proposed rehab rule threatens to cut significant revenues from long-term care providers.
Several healthcare groups, including the American Health Care Association, last week urged congressional leaders to address "harmful Medicare policies" set to take effect Jan. 1, 2011.
The Senate Budget Committee Thursday approved a fiscal year 2011 budget resolution that freezes discretionary spending through fiscal year 2013 for most federal programs, including healthcare. But the resolution also includes a reserve fund that could be used to repeal the unpopular outpatient Medicare Part B therapy caps.
There's a game called the "temporary doc fix." Congress plays it every year and I'm beginning to tire of it.
The Senate Wednesday passed a pivotal bill that would extend for six months the temporary increase in states Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). It also would extend the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process through Dec. 31, and delay a 21% Medicare payment cut for physicians until Oct. 1.
When long-term care providers hit Capitol Hill Tuesday their congressmen better be prepared.