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Long Term, Post-Acute Care Profession Voices Concerns with Proposed Medicare Rule  
Long Term, Post-Acute Care Profession Voices Concerns with Proposed Medicare Rule

Contact: AHCAPressOffice@ahca.org
(202) 898-3165
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3/10/2014

Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) weighed in on a proposed rule making substantial changes to Medicare Managed Care, the Part C Medicare Advantage (MA) program and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, Part D of Medicare. The proposed rule would tighten the operational requirements for MA programs and ease current requirements on medications covered under Part D. While AHCA/NCAL was pleased to see the proposed rule contain additional federal oversight for MA programs, the Association emphasized the importance of strengthening such oversight further in order to protect Medicare beneficiaries.

“When and where our nation’s seniors receive their post-acute care and Part D medications should always remain their choice,” said AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson. “With Medicare Advantage rapidly expanding, we must ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have the proper protections in place and that means stringent federal oversight over these plans.”

AHCA/NCAL research indicates that, nationally, MA plan enrollment likely will climb to every one in three Medicare beneficiaries by 2019.  The Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office also project continued enrollment growth despite MA payment reductions contained in the Affordable Care Act.

AHCA/NCAL’s comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) detail a number of points that would help ensure access to long term and post-acute care for the millions of Medicare beneficiaries the profession serves:

  • Increased Medicare Advantage oversight is positive as long as such efforts do not increase provider administrative burden;
  • New plan costs associated with complying with new requirements should not be passed on to providers in the form of further rate reductions;
  • Fiscal impacts of the rule coupled with MA payment reductions could result in the survival of only large plans
  • Beneficiary protections are helpful and should be further strengthened; and
  • CMS’ proposed Part D approach is a relatively blunt strategy and more effective strategies are available that would not limit access to medications and can help assure more appropriate use of medication and less expensive medication when overall equivalency is found in the literature. These comments were included in AHCA/NCAL’s full comments before CMS announced today that it would not finalize these proposals at this time, which the Association was pleased to learn.

To view AHCA/NCAL's full comments, please visit http://bit.ly/1fkiBje.  

 

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.


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