Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AHCA Members Advocate Therapy Reform on Hill

Drew Thies

AHCA members from 9 states are on Capitol Hill today advocating for therapy policy reforms and emphasizing the detrimental impact further Medicare and Medicaid cuts would have on the long term care profession.

Nearly 30 providers and members of state associations will visit over 40 Congressional offices of key committee members and leadership to ask that Congress include regulatory relief from manual medical review of part B therapy claims.

The sustainable growth rate (SGR), which sets physician Medicare payment, needs to be “fixed” March 31st and AHCA hopes that Congress will use the must-pass legislation as an opportunity to include commonsense language that allows therapy providers to receive Medicare reimbursement promptly.

Additionally, AHCA members are advocating the importance that skilled nursing be isolated from any further cuts to Medicare and Medicaid rates. Legislation patching the SGR routinely is paid for with other cuts to provider rates.

Advocates are particularly focused on preserving the provider assessment in states that use this important Medicaid tool, as well as ensuring bad debt Medicare reimbursement is not decreased past current levels.

Last year, AHCA worked with Members of Congress to develop a tolerable payment reduction based on hospital readmissions. This value-based purchasing agreement, however, once again lowered rates and another cut would severely damage the quality care that SNFs are able to provide.

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