Senate, House reach tentative stimulus package agreement

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Just a day after the Senate passed its stimulus bill, House and Senate leaders have reached a tentative compromise on an economic stimulus package. They believe it will create jobs, provide tax breaks and allocate billions of dollars in additional funding for state Medicaid programs.

The agreed-upon price of the stimulus package is $789 billion-much less than either the original House or Senate package. Nursing homes are expected to receive some funding from the $87 billion increase to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage in the package. There is also a provision delaying moratoria on six Medicaid rules until the end of June. Still another aspect of the bill applies prompt pay requirements for Medicaid payments to nursing home and hospitals.

One provision left out of the stimulus package was an amendment proposed by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) that would stipulate that any state accepting funds from an increase in the federal medical assistance percentage not be allowed to cut reimbursements to medical providers. The Grassley amendment did not make it into the initial Senate bill.