Association submits comments to Congressional Committees; outlines positions on key issues
Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association (AHCA) today
issued its response to a June 19, 2013, letter sent by the Senate Finance
Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee requesting information and
ideas on the types of long term and post-acute care (PAC) reforms that will
assist in advancing quality care and payment systems.
have policy solutions that create incentives for providers that can not only
contain costs, but also improve quality of care,” said Mark Parkinson,
President and CEO of the American Health Care Association. “We recognize the
importance of these services for the people and families we serve, as well as
the importance of identifying efficiencies to address Medicaid budgetary
Association encouraged incentivizing improvement by connecting payment with
quality outcomes, specifically support of site neutral payment reform so that
payments may be focused on patients, not settings. AHCA further outlined its
thoughts surrounding emerging proposals such as value-based purchasing and
bundled payments for services. Yet the
Association cautioned in its response for Federal agencies and Congress to
gather more information on the initiatives and their impact before fully
implementing any major programs.
also warned against further reductions to Medicare bad debt reimbursement
because the use of post-acute services is increasing with the aging population,
and the options for providers to look to states for bad debt reimbursement are
dwindling. Finally, beneficiaries do not have as easy access to third-party
insurance alternatives as in days past.
Association outlined its legislative proposal to reduce hospital readmissions
from SNFs that guarantees $2 billion in savings to the Medicare program over the
10-year budget window. AHCA also reiterated that the actual average skilled
nursing facility (SNF) Medicare margin is close to 10 percent, and the average
total SNF operating margin is calculated to be between 1 to 3 percent.
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The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.