Just as Medicare funds are being cut in the 2006 budget, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended that Medicare receive no inflation adjustment in 2007.
“As many public policymakers recognize, the most prudent way to maintain sustained improvements in nursing home care quality is to ensure long term care funding stability,” said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA, the nation’s largest long term care association representing non-profit and proprietary facilities. “It is simply incomprehensible that MedPAC does not recognize the need for a normal inflationary adjustment to an industry with the lowest margins in all of health care.”
“This recommendation would lead to devastating cuts in funding for Medicare patients at skilled nursing facilities,” said Keith Weikel, Chairman of the Alliance. “Increasing labor costs, out of control litigation-related costs, and escalating drug prices are all driving up the cost of delivering quality care. To not update Medicare’s funding mechanisms to reflect these basic facts would be careless and harmful.”
MedPAC is a independent federal body established to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.