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New Study Spotlights Growing Role of Medicare in Propping Up Nation's Medicaid Program
Date:10/3/2007

BDO Seidman Findings Underscore Need for Medicare Market Basket Update; MedPAC Provides Congress with Incomplete Picture of Nursing Home Funding Requirements

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care today said a new BDO Seidman study of the nation's Medicaid program released today draws much needed attention to a chronic and worsening problem: Medicare's cross-subsidization of increasingly inadequate Medicaid payments for nursing home care.

Noting that the influential Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is meeting in Washington this week to consider a number of Medicare funding matters, Alan Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance, urged the agency to consider more carefully the substantial Medicaid losses nursing homes face in formulating recommendations to Congress. He also urged Congress to evaluate the relationship between government payment programs -- which together pay for roughly 80% of nursing home patients -- in making decisions regarding Medicare payments to nursing homes.

"When assessing the adequacy of Medicare funding for the nation's nursing homes, and making subsequent recommendations to Congress, MedPAC should consider not only payments under Medicare, but also the substantial Medicaid losses in determining the financial health of nursing homes," Rosenbloom said. "By ignoring enormous Medicaid losses and focusing solely on Medicare expenditures, MedPAC's recommendations offer little practical guidance to Congress concerning the impact Medicare policy will have on the quality of care America's nursing home patients receive," continued Rosenbloom.

The BDO Seidman study, released by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), estimates that Medicaid 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
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SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
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