[Update] Post-Acute Providers Applaud Historic Medicare Payment Fix

Skilled nursing operators and other post-acute providers can look forward to more stable reimbursements in the future, thanks to the historic passage of a bill to change how Medicare sets payment rates. The Senate approved H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA,) late Tuesday in a 92-8 vote, and President Barack Obama […]

NYTimes: Boom in Post-Acute Care Creates Fatal Risks for SNFs

Investors are scooping up senior care facilities that are raking in Medicare dollars for post-acute care, but the rush to make money on these services might be putting patients’ health—and even lives—at risk, according to a lengthy New York Times article published Tuesday. Struggling with razor-thin margins for long-term care residents, skilled nursing facilities and […]

Medicare Overhaul to Favor More ACOs

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced Monday new, historic goals that encourage quality over quantity of Medicare-based care.  Part of that goal centers around more Accountable Care Organization (ACO) participation as well as bundled payments that will help identify higher quality partners, rather than those who see the greatest number of patients. […]

Medicare Chief Resigns With ‘Mixed Emotions’

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner is leaving the agency at the end of February, the Medicare chief announced Friday. “Tavenner wrote in an email that she left with ‘sadness and mixed emotions’ but that she has ‘great pride and joy knowing all that we have accomplished together since I came […]

Why CMS’ Reimbursement System Has a Long Way to Go

Medicare payment accuracy has steadily eroded since 2006,  according to a new report jointly produced by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Urban Institute. The study compares the relationship between skilled nursing facility (SNF) payments and costs over time to assess whether changes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made to the payment system have improved […]

Long-Term Care Facilities Must Recognize Same-Sex Spousal Rights

Long-term care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid may soon be required to recognize the rights of same-sex spouses regardless if their state has validated the marriage, according to a recently proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “These revisions would promote equality and ensure the recognition of the validity of same-sex […]

Health Care Spending Growth At 53-Year Low

Americans’ health care spending is following a pattern of slow growth, between 3.6% and 4.1% for five consecutive years, according to  new data from the Office of the Actuary (OACT) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). And it grew more slowly last year than at any time in the last 53 years. U.S. health spending […]

CMS Proposes New Rule To Boost ACO Success

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule Monday that aims to improve incentives to participate in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The changes would update and improve policies governing the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) by targeting several program areas including beneficiary assignment, data sharing, available risk models, eligibility requirements, participation […]

America’s Senior Care Gets Low Marks Versus Global Peers

When it comes to affording and receiving much-needed health care, older Americans are in worse shape compared to some of the world’s leading nations, according to the results from a new international survey. In the U.S., adults age 65 and older are sicker and more likely to struggle paying medical bills and getting the health […]