Providers intensify push to save Medicare funding

Share this content:

Skilled nursing providers and advocates have ratcheted up efforts to avoid up to $2.7 billion in Medicare cuts that could occur under a House-passed bill that funds a children's insurance program. Ads in 22 major media outlets of key lawmakers' districts have been, or will soon be, circulating around the country.

Advocates warned that slashed skilled-nursing reimbursement levels would recreate payments similar to those of a decade ago, when many facilities were spiraling toward bankruptcy. They claim that senior-care providers would be disproportionately hit if lawmakers do not find another way to increase funding for the government-funded children's insurance programs.

"We support expansion and reauthorization of SCHIP, but without the deep, devastating cuts to Medicare,'' American Health Care Association spokeswoman Susan Feeney said. "These cuts will not solve anything and will create a bigger, larger-scale problem.''

The Senate's version of the measure does cut back provider payments. Negotiators from both chambers are expected to be named shortly after Congress reconvenes after the holiday.