Washington, D.C. —The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today released the following statement from President and CEO Mark Parkinson in response to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)’s unanimous vote to adopt a recommendation to revise Medicare’s current three-day rule for skilled nursing care coverage after a hospital stay. In its report to Congress, the Commission will propose that up to two days spent under outpatient observation status in a hospital count toward satisfying the current three-day inpatient hospital requirement for coverage of skilled nursing care services under Medicare.
“We applaud MedPAC’s efforts to resolve the ongoing challenges of the three-day stay issue. The Commission’s recommendation to allow up to two observation stay days is a positive step forward, but does not fix the problem. More needs to be done. The antiquated three-day policy must be changed so that the millions of people who need skilled nursing services do not face needless barriers to accessing their health care.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission and members of Congress to improve the Medicare program by developing rational policy solutions to problems created by the three-day stay requirement.”
Congress is currently considering multiple bills that address the three-day stay policy. The Association supports legislation that deals with and eliminates this issue. For more information, visit the AHCA/NCAL website.
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.