Wednesday, October 4, 2017

AHCA Mounts Congressional Campaign Against Unfunded Mandate

Drew Thies

AHCA is urging Members of Congress to sign a letter asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise a recent unfunded mandate. The mandate, which creates various new regulations for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), was finalized in October 2016 and large parts of it roll out in November of this year.

Two letters are circulating both chambers of Congress, one in the House led by Representative Jim Renacci of Ohio, and one in the Senate led by Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota. Both letters urge CMS to revise and delay various parts of the rule to allow providers to more easily comply with the complex and expensive regulation.

The rule is the first complete overhaul of regulations for nursing centers since 1991. By CMS’s own estimate, will cost providers between $60,000 and $50,000 annually to implement.

Quality of care has been steadily improving in nursing centers in recent years. While many of the provisions in the rule mean well, it ultimately represents a doubling-down on heavy-handed regulation that shifts resources away from the bedside and toward paper compliance.

AHCA urges all of its members who have a relationship with their Member of Congress to ask them to sign on to the letter. An online issue brief explains the regulation in more depth and outlines the estimated per-state costs. Members seeking guidance on how to comply with the rule can find resources on AHCA’s website.

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