The American Health Care Association has urged the House Ways and Means Committee and the administration to stop the proposed $1.5 billion Medicare cut for skilled nursing care. It argued the reduction could jeopardize quality gains and hurt providers.

“Administration officials not only recently praised measurable gains in nursing home care quality, but also emphasized the importance of fostering sector stability to sustain quality gains,” said Hal Daub, President and CEO of AHCA.

“The proposed cuts do not recognize the correlation between funding and quality, and they threaten to further weaken and destabilize the provider sector with the lowest overall operating margins.” 

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson in late December released data on the Nursing Home Quality Initiative showing gains in key quality indicators. The federal government and long-term care provider community launched the public-private partnership in 2002. The NHQI is designed to provide consumers with information on quality in more than a dozen areas at facilities throughout the country.