Lawmakers remove repeal of RUG-IV delay from new jobless benefits package

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Lawmakers Wednesday night made a significant change to the jobless benefits package, H.R. 4213. They removed a repeal of a one-year delay to the implementation of the RUG-IV skilled nursing payment system, the American Health Care Association Thursday confirmed to McKnight's.

The legislation extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed had, until the evening before its passage, contained a provision to repeal the delayed start to the RUG-IV system, according to an AHCA spokesman. The House passed the bill Thursday; the Senate passed it Wednesday. In order for the extensions to gain passage, a number of provisions, including the RUG-IV delay repeal, were taken out of the bill, the AHCA spokesman said. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also confirmed the removal of the provision, but it could not give a timeline.

The House recently passed H.R. 5712, which contains a repeal of the one-year delay. (McKnight's, 7/15/10) The bill, the Veterans', Seniors' and Children's Health Technical Corrections Act of 2010, is awaiting action in the Senate.