House Republicans ask CMS to review cuts to SNFs

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Eight Republican House members have asked Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to "more carefully evaluate the Administration's proposed FY 2006 Medicare cuts to skilled nursing facilities."

In a letter dated April 28, U.S. Reps. Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Jim McCrery (R-LA), Dave Camp (R-MI), Jim Ramstad (R-MN), Phil English (R-PA), Kenny Hulshof (R-MO), Mark Foley (R-FL) and Clay Shaw (R-FL) wrote that they are concerned over the absence of Resource Utilization Group (RUG) add-on payments in President Bush's FY 2006 budget.

"As you prepare your RUG refinement report to Congress, we urge you to examine the existing add-on payments as part of the overall payment reallocation ... Should you find that reimbursement deficiencies within the RUG remain, sufficient funding from the add-ons should be folded into the RUG payment changes rather than simply expire as the President's budget proposal suggests," the letter stated.

Forty-three members of Congress signed their names to a previous letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. The letter says that Medicare payment reductions to skilled nursing facilities contained in the administration's budget proposal could seriously threaten facilities' ability to deliver quality care.