Bush Budget Plan Could Affect Quality of Nursing Home Care
The fiscal year 2007 budget plan proposed by President Bush would make the quality of nursing home care "go backwards," American Health Care Association President and CEO Bruce Yarwood said at a briefing on Wednesday, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The plan includes $36 billion in Medicare spending reductions, such as a zero market basket update for skilled nursing homes in FY 2007 and the elimination of reimbursements to providers for uncompensated care. The Senate budget resolution approved earlier this year does not include the Medicare spending reductions, and the House has not voted on a budget resolution.
Yarwood said that the Medicare spending reductions in large part would affect the wages of nursing home employees and would limit planned technological advances, such as the implementation of information technology systems.
At the briefing, Toni Fatone, executive vice president of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, said that the Bush budget plan also would limit the amount of federal funds states receive through state taxes on long-term care providers. The plan would reduce the maximum rate of the provider tax from 6% to 3%, Fatone said, adding that many states need revenue from the tax to maintain their Medicaid programs (Rooney, CQ HealthBeat, 3/22).