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MedPAC Again Fails to Evaluate Overall Economic Conditions in Assessing SNF Funding Requirements
Date:12/7/2007

New NGA Report on Worsening State Budget Picture, Ongoing Medicaid Funding Crisis Cited

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Commenting on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) draft recommendation that skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) should receive no inflationary market basket update for 2009, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care said MedPAC's evaluation is "incomplete and far off the mark" in terms of providing Congress with the overall economic picture it needs to make sound budgetary decisions directly impacting the care and well being of the nation's most vulnerable seniors, and the direct care workers who serve them.

"When assessing the adequacy of Medicare funding for the nation's nursing home residents, and making subsequent recommendations to Congress, MedPAC should be obligated as a matter of basic responsibility to consider the overall economic conditions in which the sector operates," stated Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance. "Medicaid pays for nearly two thirds of patients in America's nursing homes, and consistently pays less than the actual cost of care," he continued. "Adequate Medicare payments are essential to maintaining the financial stability essential to ensure the quality of care provided to millions of seniors is optimal."

MedPAC, in making its draft recommendation, acknowledged the shortfall in Medicaid funding and the fact that overall operating margins for nursing homes are low, but nonetheless based its recommendations exclusively on Medicare performance. According to a study by BDO/Seidman recently released by the American Health Care Association, the Medicaid program pays some $4.4 billion less than the actual cost of nursing home care for the nation's seniors. This translates into $13.15 per patient per day less than the cost of care, an amount which has increased 45% since 1999.

"By failing to include consideration of substantial Medicaid paym
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SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
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