U.S. House and Senate Conferees are meeting daily to resolve the payroll tax cut controversy, provide a doc fix and possibly extend the therapy cap exceptions process. One proposal being considered by the Committee, which was part of last year's House-passed legislation, includes a measure which reduces the federal reimbursement of bad debt to skilled nursing facilities. The full impact of this cut is estimated to be $500 million a year, or a 1.6% cut in Medicare rates, when fully implemented in 2015. Florida, however, greatly pays for a disproportionate share of the entire proposal - our state's long term care facilities would see a funding cut of as much as an estimated $150 million over the next three years. With facilities already experiencing significant reductions in state Medicaid and federal Medicare funding, more cuts will severely impact providers' ability to provide high-quality care to our state's frail elders.
The Conferees have a March 1st deadline to resolve this issue. With that date getting closer with each passing day - we must weigh in on the impact of bad debt on our profession.
We need your help with voicing your concerns to the members of Florida's Congressional delegation. Please contact them TODAY and tell them to oppose the reduction of bad debt reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities. Click here to enter your zip code to find your Member of Congress and send them an e-mail with this important message. You can use this link to see the impact of the proposal on your Congressional district.
For more information, review the brief, “Medicare Bad Debt Coverage to Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Critical Lifeline.”