Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Providers, Senate Finance Committee Members to Meet this Week

By Drew Thies

AHCA Members are flying to DC today to meet with several key members of the Senate Finance Committee and discuss the future of long term care in negotiations centering on Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reform.

The Senate Finance Committee, in collaboration with House Ways & Means Committee, recently released a proposal that revises the SGR’s current fee-for-service (FFS) model in favor of the alternative, value-based, payment models. AHCA is supportive of this move.

The SGR currently must be updated every year in a so-called “doc-fix” to prevent a large cut to physician Medicare reimbursement. This increase in spending, however, must be funded from other areas of Medicare spending, including a potential cut to skilled nursing.

The AHCA members, also constituents of the Senators with whom they are meeting, will be bringing the message that any more arbitrary cuts to our sector would be absolutely debilitating. The billions absorbed by skilled nursing in recent years must be taken into account when creating a budget-neutral fix.

The Senate Finance Committee is also in a position to solve the problems in the current therapy review process, which burdens providers with uncertain and lengthy reimbursement times when therapy costs reach an artificial limit. AHCA has already proposed a series of fixes to relieve providers of this unnecessary administrative burden, and will be driving that message home in face-to-face meetings.

You can join AHCA’s advocates in DC in the fight to preserve funding for and access to skilled nursing. Check out AHCA’s Advocacy Alert to see if one of your Members of Congress is on Senate Finance, House Ways & Means, or House Energy & Commerce, and tell them that the therapy review process needs to be fixed.

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