Nursing Home Industry Proposes Alternative to Funding Cuts

The nursing home industry is attempting to fend off deep Medicare cuts by proposing its own ideas on ways to reduce out-of-control Medicare spending. The proposal comes as lawmakers are considering billions of dollars in cuts to the healthcare industry to pay for a temporary postponement of physician payment cuts scheduled for March 1.

Instead of taking a $2 billion hit through the elimination of so-called "bad debt," the American Health Care Association is proposing to save at least that much money by making sure patients discharged from the hospital stay healthy.

Under the alternative proposal, nursing homes would commit to saving the Medicare program at least $2 billion by cutting back on hospital readmissions. If they fail, skilled nursing facilities would see cuts to their Medicare rates to make up for the difference.

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Sources: Kaiser Health News; The Hill