Senate Finance Committee set to vote on healthcare reform bill

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Make therapy caps lower, streamline review process, MedPAC chairman urges House committee
Make therapy caps lower, streamline review process, MedPAC chairman urges House committee

The Senate Finance Committee is planning to vote on its healthcare reform measure Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. He made this announcement after the Congressional Budget Office released findings that the proposal is estimated to cost $829 billion over 10 years.

Long-term care providers have overall reacted favorably to the bill. While the bill calls for factoring in "productivity adjustments" when considering a market-basket update for nursing homes, it would still preserve the annual cost-of-living increase. It also has some provisions the long-term community supports, such as a plan to create a pilot program to test payment bundling methods and a proposal to eliminate Medicare Part D drug co-pays for dual-eligible residents in assisted living facilities.

Still, there are many steps to take before a healthcare reform bill passes. Once the Finance Committee votes on the bill, the full Senate will have a chance to deliberate on it and combine it with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill. The HELP bill contains the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, which contains a provision that would establish a voluntary long-term care disability insurance program. Then legislators will begin the process of combining both the House and Senate bills.