Nursing Homes Fear Medicaid Cuts Under GOP-Led House

The nursing home industry is concerned about pending Medicaid cuts, news outlets report.

The Hill: "A Republican-controlled House is unlikely to extend the enhanced Medicaid funding for states in last year's Recovery Act, the head of a nursing home trade association said Monday. A return to the initial federal share (known as FMAP) would be particularly painful for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, who rely on Medicaid to pay about two-thirds of their patients' bills." At a roundtable discussion in Washington, Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, "said the FMAP situation will force a discussion on long-term care, which he said was hardly addressed during the healthcare reform debate. As lawmakers respond to voters' concerns about the deficit and cut back on Medicaid and Medicare, a long-term care sector that relies on government spending to cover about 85 percent of its patients faces a crossroads" (Pecquet, 11/8).

McKnight's Long Term Care News: "'Looking ahead, I have to say I am concerned about the significant wrangling we already see developing between the state and federal governments in regard to Medicaid and the federal healthcare reform law,' Yarwood stated. 'There's no question this policy debate is necessary and frankly merited following the election.' The lame-duck session is crucial for the long-term care community because of issues such as the RUG-IV reimbursement system and the pending expiration of the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process. 'We are prepared to fight on behalf of our profession to get these small yet important initiatives,' Yarwood said" (11/9).

Modern Healthcare: The AHCA "said it sees opportunities to include two of its key issues—outpatient therapy payment caps and the patient classification system known as RUG-IV—if Congress pushes through either stand-alone legislation that addresses physician payment or a tax extenders bill. 'If they do have a doc fix, we can put our stuff on that vehicle,'" Yarwood suggested" (Zigmond, 11/8).

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