Sequestration

States can designate more nursing homes in urgent need of quality improvement, government says

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The federal government is reactivating the special focus facility program for nursing homes with quality issues, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced. The program was minimized due to budget cuts last year.

Congress passes a bill to extend Medicare cuts an additional year

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The Senate has passed a bill to extend 2% cuts to Medicare reimbursements for an additional year, and the measure now is headed to the White House for President Obama's signature.

Stability sought via budget deal

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Providers are likely looking forward to a fiscal 2014 with generally stable funding sources and no repeat of a government shutdown. The Senate was expected to vote on and pass a massive $1.1 trillion government spending bill as early as late this week. The House overwhelming passed it on Wednesday. The bipartisan agreement would keep payment levels to providers stable with those from 2013, which included sequestration cuts across most sectors. At 1,583 pages, the omnibus bill is a compromise for both major political parties. It funds the government through September and also sets overall spending limits for the next two years.

Congress passes budget that would extend Medicare cuts, soften sequestration

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A bipartisan budget deal is on the verge of becoming law, after being passed by the U.S. Senate in a 64-36 vote on Wednesday. Long-term care leaders called for passage of the two-year spending plan after it was released last week, saying it will provide needed stability and end the type of political brinkmanship that closed the government in October.

Long-term care leaders support passage of budget deal

Long-term care leaders support passage of budget deal

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Prominent long-term care provider associations registered support for a bipartisan budget deal being considered by Congress this week, despite the fact that it would extend a period of reduced Medicare reimbursements.

Ryan, Murray strike budget deal that would extend Medicare sequestration cuts

Ryan, Murray strike budget deal that would extend Medicare sequestration cuts

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Top House and Senate budget negotiators have carved out a deal that would end many parts of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, but long-term care providers would face an additional two years of reduced Medicare reimbursements.

$30 million cut from Medicare

$30 million cut from Medicare

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Skilled nursing facilities will see $470 million in aggregate 2014 Medicare reimbursements, which is $30 million less than projected in a proposed rule, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

CMS final rule: SNFs to receive $30 million less in Medicare payments than initially proposed

CMS final rule: SNFs to receive $30 million less in Medicare payments than initially proposed

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A Medicare payment rate update will increase aggregate skilled nursing facility reimbursements by $470 million during fiscal year 2014, according to a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Lower SNF spending improves Medicare solvency outlook, report says

Lower SNF spending improves Medicare solvency outlook, report says

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Government officials released good news about the long-term solvency of the Medicare program Friday. The projections were based in large measure on lower projected reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities.

Sequestration 2.0 likely to take another bite out of provider payments

Sequestration 2.0 likely to take another bite out of provider payments

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For many long-term care providers, dealing with funding cuts that began in March has amounted to making the best of a bad situation. Automatic sequestration cuts are trimming Medicare payments by 2%, while many complementary programs are being held back or halted. That's the bad news. The really bad news is that things are likely to get worse.

CMS updates SNF Medicare manual to implement sequestration cuts

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated the online Medicare Provider Reimbursement Manual, modifying instructions related to the 2% reimbursement reductions resulting from sequestration.

Ducking the federal budget issue

Ducking the federal budget issue

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The years of cuts to federal scientific grants has been a travesty, and I don't use that word lightly. The often-mocked duck reproduction project is an example of putting a small amount of money to fund basic scientific knowledge.

Obama's cuts draw hot provider rebuke

Obama's cuts draw hot provider rebuke

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President Obama's proposed budget is dead in the water as long-term care providers see it. They stand to lose $81 billion over 10 years if the measure is approved.

Sequestration equals starvation

Sequestration equals starvation

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By now you've heard plenty about Medicare sequestration cuts. But you might not realize that some projects not only survived cuts, but they are getting money for projects while more important ones are slashed.

CMS changes nursing home inspections in response to sequestration cuts

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will change some nursing home survey procedures in response to budget cuts from sequestration, according to memos released Tuesday. The CMS Survey & Certification budget has been reduced 5% from 2012, the agency announced.

Automatic 2% Medicare cuts begin

Automatic 2% Medicare cuts begin

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The 2% reduction in Medicare payments known as sequestration began Monday. Providers should begin to see the impact by mid-April. The reductions will affect claims with dates of service or discharge on or after April 1, 2013.

Sequestration and Ryan plan seen as big fiscal challenges

Sequestration and Ryan plan seen as big fiscal challenges

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Last month, the skilled sector figured out sequester cuts would cost providers more than $782 million in payments. Then Paul Ryan broke out the meat cleaver.

With Medicare cuts coming, GOP prepares another push for vouchers

With Medicare cuts coming, GOP prepares another push for vouchers

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is working on a proposed budget that would revamp the Medicare program. Republicans believe the option of turning Medicare into a voucher program may win support despite uncertainty over the effects of $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that began last Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why long-term care operators are wary - and weary - of sequestration fiasco

Why long-term care operators are wary - and weary - of sequestration fiasco

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Well, here we go again. Less than three months after President Obama and Congress narrowly avoided walking off a fiscal cliff, we're bracing for Round 2. Only this time, we're all a bit worse for wear.

One week to go: Providers anxious about Medicare automatic spending cuts

All eyes will be on Congress when it reconvenes Monday. Lawmakers will have just four days to act if they are to derail automatic spending cuts that would take 2% off the top of Medicare reimbursements. Senior housing and home- and community-based care funding would have it worse, both facing funding cuts of 5.1%. Many are resigned to the idea that the highly partisan Congress will not stop the "sequestration" from hitting, unlike late last year. But how badly it will ultimately affect long-term care and other services, no one really knows. There also has been speculation that lawmakers will let the sequestration cuts hit but then act to soften their blow in the near future. One silver lining for providers: Medicaid funding would not be affected by sequestration.

Deficit-reduction plan to gain $600 billion from lower provider payments and higher beneficiary premiums

Deficit-reduction plan to gain $600 billion from lower provider payments and higher beneficiary premiums

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The co-chairs of President Barack Obama's deficit reduction commission are promoting a way to achieve $600 billion in healthcare "savings" in a new version of their deficit reduction plan. Medicare and Medicaid cuts would be targeted over the next 10 years.

No reason to cheer fiscal cliff 'solution'

No reason to cheer fiscal cliff 'solution'

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Should a person be congratulated and backslapped for simply doing his or her job? That's the question that should be on people's minds today as they ponder what has happened with fiscal cliff negotiations.

AHCA members flying to Washington to lobby for cancellation of funding cuts

AHCA members flying to Washington to lobby for cancellation of funding cuts

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As fiscal cliff negotiations continue, nine state chapters of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living have sent representatives to meet with lawmakers in the nation's capital.

Regardless of fiscal cliff outcome, funding cuts loom

Regardless of fiscal cliff outcome, funding cuts loom

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We're hearing much out of Washington these days about the looming fiscal cliff. Assessments about its impact run the gamut from no big deal to very big deal. As is usually the case, the truth is probably somewhere in between

LTC, other healthcare sectors to blitz administration about sequestration cuts, possible alternatives

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When President Obama speaks today about mandated sequestration cuts to Medicare funding, he is expected to set off the most intense period of lobbying yet among healthcare providers. Long-term care stakeholders are especially fearful of the potential compounding effect the 2% across-the-board reductions could have, given other restrictions already in play. One solution LTC lobbyists are recommending: A massive exception them from the mandate, much as the defense sector enjoys. Congress put off taking action earlier on the funding cuts but now the piper must be paid — unless lawmakers somehow act to mitigate or otherwise postpone the cuts again.

Post-election Congressional action might not be so 'lame'

Post-election Congressional action might not be so 'lame'

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Like a pedestrian at a dangerous intersection, long-term care providers find themselves waiting for the stoplight to change when it comes to reimbursement policy.

Analysis: Medicare sequester cuts would reduce SNF payments by $9 billion over 10 years

Analysis: Medicare sequester cuts would reduce SNF payments by $9 billion over 10 years

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Skilled nursing facilities in the most populous states will be the hardest hit if Congress enacts the 2% across-the-board cut in Medicare payments to providers, two new analyses predict.

OMB: Sequestration would cut $11 billion in Medicare payments to providers

OMB: Sequestration would cut $11 billion in Medicare payments to providers

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Failed budget deficit negotiations in Congress could result in an $11- billion reduction in payments to Medicare providers, a government analysis released Friday predicts.

Analysis: Sequestration cut may mean loss of 766,000 healthcare jobs over 10 years

Analysis: Sequestration cut may mean loss of 766,000 healthcare jobs over 10 years

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A scheduled 2% sequestration cut in federal Medicare payments to providers could result in the loss of thousands of U.S. healthcare jobs, a new report warns.

Nursing home group heightens lobbying for Medicaid funding before November elections

Nursing home group heightens lobbying for Medicaid funding before November elections

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Preserving Medicaid funding remains the top priority for the largest nursing home association in the United States as Congress heads back into session this week.

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