Doc fix bill once again is less than LTC field had hoped for

Share this content:
AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson
AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson

A measure President Barack Obama signed into law does a lot more for doctors than it does for long-term care operators.

Leading long-term care organizations pushed for more comprehensive Medicare payment reform. But once again, the field was left with the proverbial half a loaf.

American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson noted it's unfortunate that the senior living sector will be required to keep making sacrifices so that physician payment rates are not trimmed. But he added that the law will, at a minimum, prevent “arbitrary” cuts.

Parkinson sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) prior to the vote, urging passage but emphasizing the need for a permanent repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.

Under the “Protecting Access” bill, SNFs would not get an across-the-board cut to help pay for the one-year “doc fix.” However, they would have 2% of their Medicare reimbursements withheld upfront starting in October 2018; 70% of this money would be given to providers that improve their rate of hospital readmissions.

Parkinson's letter also expressed hope that AHCA's help in crafting the bill would be remembered kindly whenever a permanent “doc fix” is determined by lawmakers.