Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today commended Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) for introducing the Creating Access to Rehabilitation for Every Senior (CARES) Act of 2013. The legislation eases seniors’ access to care by permitting centers that meet specific quality measures and ratings to waive the three-day inpatient stay currently required by the Medicare program.
“We applaud Congressman Renacci for recognizing the problems associated with a required three day stay in a hospital to access skilled nursing facility services. This archaic policy prevents beneficiaries from accessing their Medicare benefit,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Our profession thanks him for serving as a champion for seniors and those individuals who need our services.”
The CARES Act of 2013 eliminates the three-day inpatient stay required for Medicare coverage of Part A skilled nursing care benefits by allowing centers that meet particular criteria to automatically qualify to waive the prior hospitalization requirement. The criteria are based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Nursing Home Compare program.
“I am encouraged to see Congressman Renacci’s innovative solution to this ongoing three-day stay issue,” said Clif Porter, the incoming head of Government Affairs for AHCA/NCAL. “This bill encourages mutual, positive relationships between individuals seeking skilled care and facilities who work hard to achieve high quality ratings.”
AHCA/NCAL supports eliminating the three-day stay requirement and solving the related issue of observation stays. The association supported a similar bill introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), the Fairness for Beneficiaries Act of 2013, which also sought to eliminate the three-day stay requirement. AHCA/NCAL continues to support Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Tom Latham (R-IA), along with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the legislation they introduced, The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013, which seeks to count all hospital days spent in observation towards the three-day stay requirement. For more information about observation stays and the three-day stay requirement, visit the AHCA/NCAL website.
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 development 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.