MedPAC: No inflation adjustment for nursing facilities

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Providers expressed disappointment over recommendations by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that federal officials not provide a normal annual inflation update for skilled nursing providers.

With a possible minimum wage hike on the near horizon, long-term care providers will need help covering the rising cost of providing quality care, said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of American Health Care Association, in a prepared statement.

"Long-term care funding stability in conjunction with reasonable inflation adjustments are the critical policy prescriptions necessary for our profession to sustain for the long term the rigorous and comprehensive quality improvement initiatives underway in facilities across the nation," Yarwood said.

MedPAC's recommendations, which are not binding on lawmakers, will appear in the commission's March 2007 report to Congress. Lawmakers have essentially ignored similar MedPAC calls for restricted funding to nursing homes in each of the last three years.