Nursing Home Industry Ready to Do Battle Over Medicare Funding

The nursing home industry is facing a major test of its lobbying
clout as lawmakers weigh whether to slash its Medicare funding. Nursing homes
got a pass in January when Congress approved a short-term “doc fix” for
Medicare spending that left hospitals to foot the bill for the second year in a
row. But there’s no guarantee that lawmakers will go down that route again,
leaving long-term and post-acute care facilities at risk of a significant cut
to their reimbursement rates. Anticipating the fight, two leading industry
groups merged this month under the banner of the American Health Care
Association (AHCA), creating a united front for a sustained lobbying campaign
this fall. Mark Parkinson, the group’s president, hopes to win another victory
for the industry by offering lawmakers a deal. It goes like this: Non-hospital
care facilities will generate $2 billion of their own federal budget savings
over 10 years by reducing the number of patients they send back to hospitals.
If nursing homes fail to meet that goal, they’ll agree to lower fees to make up
for the shortfall. Parkinson said the group’s strategy of presenting lawmakers
with policy solutions, rather than the usual refrain of “please don’t cut us,”
has proven effective.

Source/more: The Hill

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