MedPAC recommendation of 0% pay increase for 2012 leaves long-term care providers fuming

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Long-term care groups on Tuesday strongly criticized the latest round of recommendations to Congress from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

Among its recommendations issued Tuesday for 2012, MedPAC suggested that skilled nursing facilities and long-term care hospitals receive no payment increases—not even cost-of-living adjustments.

The American Health Care Association and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care excoriated the advisory commission's stance. By not providing even a cost-of-living adjustment, MedPAC and Congress could be jeopardizing caregivers' ability to continue to improve patient care quality, according to the long-term care groups.

“Stable Medicare funding is critical to extending this positive trend in improving quality, especially at a time when volatility in state Medicaid budgets has created a dramatic and worrisome squeeze on patient care, staffing and facilities themselves,” according to AHCA president and CEO Mark Parkinson and Alliance President Alan G. Rosenbloom.

MedPAC routinely recommends that reimbursements for nursing homes and long-term care facilities be cut or remain static. Congress has yet to follow their advice in recent memory. (McKnight's, 12/14/09)