Baucus bill scores win with providers

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Long-term care providers praised a pivotal healthcare reform bill that was introduced last month by the Senate Finance Committee.“The health plan advanced by Senator Baucus is a step in the right direction in terms of protecting hard-fought quality gains now benefiting patients,” said Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association.

Providers were pleased the bill did not include an outright reduction in the Medicare market-basket update for skilled nursing facilities. But the proposal did include a “full productivity adjustment” for nursing homes starting in 2012. Such an adjustment would cut into Medicare payments over the long term, AHCA said.

Providers also commended the committee for proposing to extend the therapy caps exceptions process for two years, through Dec. 31, 2011.