Fearful of losing even more funding, providers to pressure lawmakers on healthcare reform

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Although it wasn't unexpected, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' official announcement that it will be cutting $1 billion from nursing home Medicare payments starting Oct. 1 was still a shock to providers this week. Federal officials have rationalized that a projected 2.2% market-basket update, while less than hoped for, would still offset about two-thirds of the $1 billion "recalibration" loss. However, provider advocates will be rallying the troops over the coming weeks to protect the 2.2% increase. "Nursing homes are in serious danger of losing the market-basket update under healthcare reform legislation," one warned.