A first: Bill introduced to hike Medicare pay based on quality of care

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Nursing homes would receive Medicare reimbursements based on their quality of care for the first time under a bill introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) in the U.S. House.

Although there is virtually no chance the bill would be passed this year, providers nonetheless hailed the introduction of HR 5403, the Long-Term Care Quality Improvement Act.
 
"It is time to align financial rewards with quality improvement," said Larry Minnix, president of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Washington. "This is consistent with the goals of Quality First, the national quality improvement plan we launched with other provider organizations two years ago."
 
Minnix said in a statement Monday that providers agree with consumer groups in that "good providers ought to be rewarded for what they do and poor providers ought to go out of business."
 
The Quality Improvement Act calls for separate reporting of expenditures for direct care staff. Introduced Friday night, It also requires the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop tested methods for linking payment to quality.