SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) last week recommended a freeze on reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation centers for fiscal year 2010.

MedPAC officials Thursday voted to approve the rate freeze. In draft versions of the recommendations issued late in 2008, MedPAC staff said that freezing reimbursement rates for skilled nursing facilities would not adversely affect Medicare beneficiary access to needed services, or affect a facility’s willingness to accept Medicare residents (McKnight’s, 12/8/08).

Besides a freeze on SNF reimbursement rates, MedPAC officials also voted to cut reimbursements to home health agencies by 5.5%, and increase reimbursements to long-term care hospitals by 1.6%. Medicare primary physicians also could see a 1.1% increase in 2010. MedPAC will make its official recommendations to Congress in March.