The House Ways and Means Committee has reached a bipartisan agreement to reauthorize several Medicare “Extenders” that recently expired or are set to expire at the end of the year. Overall, the proposed extenders agreement is promising, however the list of possible policy offsets including cuts to critical access hospital (CAH) swing bed, home health and skilled nursing facilities payments would be disastrous.
The Committee has not released legislative text of the agreement and several details remain unknown. However, it is widely believed that the committee has developed the proposed cuts based on previous MedPAC recommendations which included cost-based reimbursement methodology for CAH swing beds and for post-acute providers an aggregate five percent reduction in payment. We believe the proposed cuts must be removed. Rural hospitals and post-acute care providers in South Dakota are often times the only source of health care in their community.
It is vitally important that we watch the proposed legislation as it moves forward. Please share your concerns with the SD congressional members that we support the Medicare extenders but they should not be offset by making the proposed cuts.
For more information on expiring Medicare extenders see AHA fact sheet.