Medicare To Pay Higher Rates to Nursing Homes Caring for Patients With AIDS
Nursing homes caring for patients with AIDS this fall will receive increased Medicare payment rates, according to a CMS release. Under a provision in the new Medicare reform law, current rates for nursing homes that care for people living with AIDS will increase 128% as of Oct. 1. Daily Medicare payment rates for nursing homes are paid prospectively and are determined by a classification system based on the needs of beneficiaries. For example, the payment rates are higher for patients who are in very poor health or whose care is more complicated. The daily rates cover the costs of routine services such as room, board, nursing care and some medical supplies; treatment costs, such as laboratory services and medications; and capital costs, such as land, buildings and equipment. "The care of patients with AIDS can be extraordinarily high," CMS Administrator Mark McClellan said, adding, "This action to implement the new payment rate reflects the increased costs associated with caring for this special group of beneficiaries. We want to take whatever steps are necessary to assure continued access to care for people living with AIDS" (CMS release, 5/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.