Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today applauded the Long Term Care (LTC) Commission’s report, particularly its recommendations to end the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) three-day inpatient hospital stay requirement, which effectively solves the observation stay loophole, along with greater federal emphasis on site neutral payment policies. AHCA released the following statements from LTC Commissioner, Neil Pruitt, Jr. of UHS-Pruitt, and Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL:
Statement of Commissioner Neil Pruitt, Jr.:
“It was an honor to serve on the Commission and play a small role in effectuating some structural, meaningful changes to the long term health of these programs. Each of my colleagues brought a unique perspective to long term care's most challenging issues.
“Recognizing the current budget constraints do not allow for new expenditures, I am encouraged the Commission recognized the potential savings of a site neutral payment system to the Medicare program and the important role that the private market plays in the long term care delivery system.
“Not only do these recommendations reflect a new way of thinking about post-acute care, but I also believe they will influence Congress in the months ahead. These are important steps in minimizing the confusion many older Americans experience with the Medicare benefit.”
Statement of President & CEO Mark Parkinson:
“The recommendations of the Commission are thoughtful and speak to some of the most difficult challenges facing our profession. I am pleased that the Commissioners urged the end of the three-day stay requirement required for beneficiaries to access their Medicare Part A skilled nursing benefits. Further, our members are particularly excited to see a shift to site neutral payment policies, which will not only ease budgetary pressures on Medicare, but enhance quality in the process.
“Finally, the report includes important policy proposals surrounding what happens after a patient receives critical post-acute care. Helping individuals return to their communities in the best functioning level possible after using long term services and supports is a key goal of our profession, and we are pleased to see such substantive recommendations to push their implementation.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 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 nearly 5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our facilities each year. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.