Wall Street worries, but CMS offers help. (News Notes).
"The CMS report clearly shows that the long-term care component of the U.S. healthcare system is fragile at best, and requires a continued partnership with policymakers at the federal and state level," said Charles H. Roadman II, MD, CNA, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association.
But now for some good news: CMS proposes to provide some relief in the form of a 2.9% increase in Medicare payment rates to SNFs in FY 2004--a $400 million boost to the industry. Nursing homes would also continue to receive about $1 billion in temporary add-on payments in FY 2004 because of CMS's decision to retain the current classification system that establishes daily payment rates--at least for the time being. Congress has encouraged CMS to make case-mix refinements, but CMS says the research is not advanced enough yet to make changes. To adjust for SNF market basket underestimates in the cost of care since 2000, CMS has also proposed to raise Medicare reimbursement an additional 3.26%. CMS was taking comments on these funding proposals as of press time.
Even more good news: The tax cut bill President Bush recently-signed gives states $10 billion in federal funds to increase federal matching rates for Medicaid by 2.95 percentage points until October 1, 2004, a move praised by the major long- term care organizations.
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|Title Annotation:||Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services|
|Author:||Edwards, Douglas J.|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2003|
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