Lawmakers: New Medicaid rule jeopardizes nursing homes

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Congressional leaders have sharply criticized a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that could reduce Medicaid funding to county-run nursing homes and public hospitals.

The rule narrows the definition of government-related health providers and limits funding sources available to states to finance Medicaid. It also singles out public providers to limit their reimbursement to cost through the use of certified public expenditures, according to Congressional leaders including Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. They aired their concerns in a letter to Michael Leavitt, head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The American Health Care Association asked Congress to pass a two-year moratorium on the proposed rule's implementation. States use these funds to generate matching dollars from the federal government. CMS proposed the rule in January.