Wednesday, March 22, 2017

AHCA/NCAL Advocates Take the Hill for Medicaid, Survey Issues

 Drew Thies

Over 100 AHCA/NCAL Members are in Washington, D.C. today to advocate for preservation of Medicaid funds and survey reform. As Congress moves forward on health care reform efforts, the fly-in comes at a critical time.

Advocates will focus on opposing efforts to cut Medicaid funding for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their services. Medicaid already underfunds care in some settings, and superficially only pays 89 cents for every dollar of care delivered in a nursing home. AHCA/NCAL members will urge lawmakers to oppose efforts that reduce funding even further.

Members will also be educating Members of Congress on recent changes at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that have led to a dramatic rise in the issuance of Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs). Sub-regulatory guidance from CMS has caused skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to endure financial hardship because of the increasing volume and dollar amount of these CMPs.

Advocates will ask Congress to urge CMS to come up with reasonable solutions that ensure continued quality of care but do not unduly punish SNFs. This surge of CMPs takes place at a time where SNF quality is improving, and even the highest-quality providers are being burdened by these penalties.

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