Sequester would cost SNFs more than $782 million, hit Florida especially hard, report asserts

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Alan Rosenbloom
Alan Rosenbloom

Skilled nursing facilities in highly populated states on the East Coast and in the Midwest would be hit hardest by Medicare cuts if sequestration takes effect, according to Avalere Health figures released by the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care on Wednesday.

The sequester would cut Medicare reimbursement by 2%, resulting in about $782.5 million in payment reductions to skilled nursing facilities in fiscal year 2014, according to Avalere.

The research firm determined which ten states would see the most significant losses. California would take the biggest hit, of nearly $76 million, in fiscal year 2014. Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts also made the list, as did Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. Texas was the only state on the list west of the Mississippi besides California.

While the sequester cuts are dramatic, they are part of a much larger pattern of reductions in both Medicare and Medicaid affecting nursing homes, stressed AQNHC President Alan G. Rosenbloom.

"That means states like Florida and Ohio, which experienced deep cuts to Medicaid funded SNF care in recent budget cycles, feel the impact even harder," Rosenbloom told McKnight's. "The hard fact is that since 2009, 40 states have either frozen or cut state Medicaid funding for SNF care at the same time these federal budget and regulatory changes have occurred. More cuts are simply unsustainable."

The sequester is scheduled to take effect Friday, although Medicare cuts would start April 1.

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