Bush signs major spending measure

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President Bush last month signed a $555 billion spending bill that eliminates revisit user fees for nursing homes. 

Providers have been adamantly opposed to the revisit fee system, which charges a fee to facilities that require a revisit survey as a result of deficiencies cited. The fees for skilled nursing facilities have been $168 for an offsite revisit survey and $2,072 for an onsite revisit survey.

As of press time, President Bush was also expected to sign a Medicare bill that holds some hard-won items for nursing homes. It would maintain a 3.3% marketbasket increase for nursing homes for fiscal year 2008. (The update is believed to total $690 million for the year.) The bill also extends by six months an exceptions process for Medicare Part B outpatient therapy. Provides, however, were disappointed that the bill also freezes the threshold for inpatient rehabilitation facility compliance at 60%.