MedPAC recommendations 'have no bearing on the realities' nursing homes face, group says

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Alan Rosenbloom
Alan Rosenbloom

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has recommended a 4% reduction in skilled nursing facility reimbursement for 2014, drawing the ire of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care in response.

“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 President Alan G. Rosenbloom.

The American Health Care Association took a more measured approach. In commenting on MedPAC Monday, AHCA leaders said the commission had actually made progress by taking 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.”

Hospice facilities have to begin reporting on quality in 2013, and payments will be reduced by 2% for non-reporters in 2014, the commission noted. MedPAC recommended lowering outpatient therapy caps last month. It will vote on its final recommendations to Congress in January.