Providers making their points as Senate dances with reform

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AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix
AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix
Nonprofit providers cheered when Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) helped Democrats move a major healthcare reform bill out of the Senate Finance Committee.

While the Finance Committee measure hardly reinvents long-term care, it contains some of the most industry-friendly provisions Congress has seriously considered.

Most notably, CLASS Act measures would establish a disability insurance program, which nonprofits have strongly backed. Other components include a pilot program to test payment bundling and the creation of a special office to deal with people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid services. Yet another provision would tie the market-basket update for nursing homes to “productivity adjustments.” The bill now makes its way to the Senate floor.

The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging is pushing hard for the preservation of the CLASS Act as the Senate attempts to merge two separate reform bills.

Two other long-term care organizations, the American Health Care Association ,and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, were a bit more circumspect. In a statement, they thanked Snowe for her support. But they also insisted on better Medicare and Medicaid funding, which still accounts for the lion's share of industry revenue.

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