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New Study of Bush Medicare Cuts: Texas' Rural Seniors, Nursing Homes 2nd Hardest Hit in Nation
Date:5/28/2008

Texas Health Care Association: Rising Energy and Food Costs, Existing Medicaid Squeeze Already Pose Problem for Texas Facilities

AUSTIN, Texas, May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new national study analyzing how Medicare budget cuts proposed by the Bush Administration will impact rural America's seniors and nursing homes finds Texas will be the second hardest-hit state in the nation, prompting the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) to warn that yet another funding cut related to long term care financing simply adds to the already significant challenges posed by rising energy and food costs, and a state Medicaid payment rate that ranks 49th in the nation in terms of accurately meeting facility reimbursement rates.

"Our top policy objective is to ensure every Texan who needs it has ready, ongoing access to quality nursing home care -- but on almost every front, seniors and the facilities statewide who care for them face more funding hurdles and threats to an already-problematic long term care funding environment," warned Tim Graves, President of THCA. "These new Medicare cuts fall on top of state Medicaid funding rates that do not come close to financing the actual cost of providing quality care, and on top of sharply rising energy and food costs. We respectfully urge the Bush Administration to reconsider moving forward with these cuts."

At issue is the fact the Bush Administration issued a proposed regulation on May 1, 2008, that would cut Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) payments to account for a "forecasting error" made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2005. CMS administers federal Medicare and Medicaid funding on behalf of the Administration. In making the "correction," CMS will cut Texas' total Part A SNF funding in FY 2009 by $45.7 million -- $8.2 million of which is cuts to rural seniors and the facilities who care for them. Texas' rural patient per day (PPD) cut is $10.05, according to the AHCA
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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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