Nursing Home, Hospice Pay Triggers Questions, Concern, Action
News outlets report on a range of issues related to Medicare payments, including losses that are expected to result from a new payment rule for nursing homes and the lobbying effort being undertaken by hospice facilities.
The Hill: Dems Hit Private Firms' Nursing Homes
Congressional Democrats used a Government Accountability Office report Monday to call for changes in the way Medicare pays some nursing homes. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) raised questions about nursing homes that are owned by private investment firms (Baker, 8/15).
Politico Pro: Nursing Homes Expect Big Losses Under Rule
Nursing home groups were outraged last month by a CMS payment rule for fiscal 2012 that slashes Medicare payments by $3.87 billion next year as CMS tries to correct excessive payments from a new system implemented this year. [A new] Avalere study, commissioned by the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, projects the rule will decrease Medicare payments by $60 billion over the next decade, while the rule's group therapy and reporting provisions will cut payments by an additional $19 billion (Millman, 8/15).
USA Today: Hospice Lobbyists Battle Over Medicare Payment System
For-profit hospice organizations have spent more than $1 million this year lobbying to prevent Medicare from reducing payments to try to curb the soaring cost of hospice care. The nation's two largest for-profit hospice companies, Vitas and Gentiva, have together spent $1,188,100 on lobbying this year, records show. Their top priority is a bill by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the Medicare program, to test a new payment system for two years (Kennedy, 8/15).
Related, earlier KHN story: Growing Hospice Care Costs Bring Concerns About Misuse (Rau, 6/27)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.