Nursing home cutbacks could tally $65 billion over next decade

Several separate budget-reduction regulations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) are overlapping with federal laws, snipping chunks of nursing home budgets from all sides, according to a nationwide data analysis conducted by Avalere. The impacts could saddle nursing homes with cumulative funding reductions of $65 billion over the next decade, with $4 billion in reductions hitting in 2013-2014 alone, the data show.

The combining factors affecting skilled nursing facility (SNF) budgets include the Affordable Care Act, CMS’ case mix adjustments, sequestration and various legislative measures to control bad debt.

"The staggering level of SNF Medicare cuts resulting from budgetary actions and regulatory changes since 2009 has brought one of America's most important health sectors to the brink of operational viability,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC).

With the dismal funding estimates, skilled nursing facilities will have increased difficulty in competing with other heathcare venues for quality workers, Rosenbloom added.

AQNHC will be making the rounds of Congressional candidates this month in an attempt to steer opinions away from any further reductions in SNF budgets.

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