MedPAC is losing touch with reality, provider group says

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Alan Rosenbloom, AQNHC president
Alan Rosenbloom, AQNHC president

Providers are used to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission promoting stingy or non-existent reimbursement recommendations. But the latest MedPAC salvo takes things to new heights — or a new low, depending on one's perspective.

MedPAC has recommended a 4% reduction in skilled nursing facility reimbursement for 2014.

“With nearly $4 billion in SNF Medicare cuts scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013 — and with $65 billion in cumulative SNF funding reductions over 10 years already in place — we must respectfully observe that MedPAC's recommendations have no bearing on the realities faced by our sector, our patients and our workforce,” said Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care President Alan G. Rosenbloom.

The American Health Care Association took a more measured approach. In commenting on MedPAC's early December recommendations, AHCA leaders said the commission actually had made progress because it had apparently taken into consideration how many states have reduced Medicaid funding — even if it did fall short with its overall payment recommendations. 

“To look at the Medicare side only doesn't tell the full story of the challenges operators are facing and how they are barely making ends meet,” said spokesman Greg Crist. “We are against any sort of rebasing at this time but are pleased MedPAC considered Medicaid.” 

MedPAC will vote on its final recommendations to Congress in January. 


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