Friday, May 21, 2010

Extenders Package Addresses FMAP, RUG-IV, and Physician Fee Schedule

Yesterday, the House and Senate reached agreement on the “extenders package” known as the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213). The House will take up the bill early next week with the Senate to follow later in the week. FHCA is pleased to report that H.R. 4213 addresses three key issues for long term and post acute care: FMAP, elimination of the RUG-IV delay, and the physician fee schedule fix.

On FMAP, H.R. 4213 will extend the temporary Medicaid increase provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for an additional 6 months December 31, 2010 through June 30, 2011. FHCA, its national affiliate American Health Care Association and a diverse group of provider and patient organizations have been pushing for this extension for several months through a variety of means.

Ongoing advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill also helped to eliminate the implementation delay of RUG-IV to October 1, 2011, which was contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This ensures that RUG-IV and MDS 3.0 will be implemented together on October 1, 2010.

On the doc fix, a three year patch is included. The legislation will provide a 1.3% update effective June 1, 2010 and an additional 1.0% update on January 1, 2011. From 2012-2013, annual updates will be the two target methods contained in the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009 although updates for both service categories cannot be negative in either of those years. During this period, physicians in Accountable Care Organizations may elect to establish ACO-specific spending targets in lieu of national spending targets. Following 2013, rates return to levels determined by the current Sustainable Growth Rate system.

FHCA still needs your help with urging your Members of Congress to support the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act which contains the extension of the FMAP increase until June 30, 2011 and a provision to repeal the delay of RUGs IV allowing it to go into effect on October 1, 2010. Florida long term care providers need Congress to take swift action and vote on this issue before the Memorial Day holiday to help avert nearly $200 million in Medicaid funding cuts. Please click here to send -mails TODAY to your Members of Congress asking that they vote for this important legislation.

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