House could vote on budget bill today

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The House could vote on an amended budget proposal today. But the vote could be delayed until after the holidays if the bill requires a roll-call vote.

The Senate Wednesday passed a slightly different version of the bill the House passed earlier this week. Because of these amendments, the House has to vote on the bill again. Once approved by the House, the bill goes to the president for his signature.

The bill would include several items that directly affect long-term care providers, including a measure permitting the Part B therapy caps to go into effect this January. But the legislation also would allow for exceptions for those who would need therapy services above the $1,740 limit.

Providers are also concerned about language regarding asset transfers. The bill would change the start of the penalty period for asset transfers to coincide with a nursing home stay. This action would increase the burden of uncompensated care on facilities.

In addition, the bill would extend implementation of the 75% rule by a year and reduce the allowance for bad debt that is deemed "collectible" to 70%.

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