Nursing homes, others urge Congress to extend FMAP increase until mid-2011

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HHS awards more than $13 million to help lessen nursing shortage
HHS awards more than $13 million to help lessen nursing shortage

Hundreds of groups, including the American Health Care Association, recently signed a letter asking congressional leaders to extend until at least June 30, 2011, the temporary increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).

States currently are facing shortfalls totaling $140 billion in fiscal year 2011, the groups argue in the letter dated Jan. 20. Public sector jobs, funding to safety-net providers and sufficient Medicaid coverage all are at stake if the FMAP expires, as scheduled, on Dec. 31, 2010, according to the letter. Budget cuts could result in the loss of 900,000 jobs, it continues.

The FMAP was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Long-term experts have argued that nursing homes have not seen funding from the FMAP increase because states have used it to fill their budget holes.