Hard to duck painful cuts, AHCA head says

Of all the uncertainties in politics, one thing is concrete: When the November elections are over, a lame duck period will have officially begun in Washington. This time, many providers are concerned that they will fare worse than usual.

“Under any [post-election] scenario, nursing homes are going to be under attack during the lame duck [period],” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association.

He noted that association lobbyists and members are meeting with lawmakers to minimize post-election funding reductions. One proposal gaining traction would postpone sequestration cuts to long-term care providers. Many lawmakers already have endorsed a similar reprieve for defense spending.

Parkinson said that if funding cuts do occur, they are most likely to affect therapy caps and physician payments. But larger reductions are still possible, he noted.

Parkinson added that providers need to focus as never before on delivering optimal care.