MedPAC votes against cost-of-living increase for skilled nursing facilities in FY 2012

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SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims
SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended that Congress not provide a cost-of-living increase, also known as a market-basket update, for skilled nursing facilities in fiscal year 2012.

Mark Parkinson, who began his term as president and CEO of the American Health Care Association earlier this week, expressed dismay at the decision. He noted that Congress should take into account Medicaid underfunding and Medicare's role in compensating for the shortfall.

“We understand that MedPAC's limited scope forces the commission to recommend funding levels for skilled nursing care based solely on its recent assessment of the Medicare program,” Parkinson said. “Fortunately, Congress does not suffer from such limitations.”

MedPAC recommended a 1% update for inpatient hospital payments and a 1% update for outpatient hospital and physician payments. Congress can reject or accept the recommendations. In recent years, it has not followed MedPAC's recommendations regarding the market-basket update for skilled nursing facilities.

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