Bill's bad-debt proviso has leaders seeing red

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Mark Parkinson, President, AHCA
Mark Parkinson, President, AHCA
Fearing a New Year's economic hangover of epic proportions, provider advocates launched a multipronged blitz at press time to fight bad-debt provisions of a new House GOP spending bill.

Introduced in mid-December, the bill asks skilled nursing operators to absorb more than $4.5 billion of $10 billion in bad debt losses.

“The full impact of this cut will be around $500 million a year,” said American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson in a statement to McKnight's.

The controversial measure also would provide temporary solutions to the “doc fix” and therapy cap exceptions process — both moves that long-term care providers cheer.

But Medicare reimbursable bad debt would be cut almost in half by 2015 (from 100% now, to 55%). Private payers also would be gradually phased down to 55% by 2015 (from the current 70%).

Seventeen states would pay for nearly 90% of the bad debt reductions, according to AHCA. Provider advocates were targeting lawmakers in the most affected states.