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Additional Medicare Cuts Hurt Nursing Homes

Skilled nursing facilities can expect another 2 percent cut in Medicare rates beginning January 2013 and this cut comes on the heels of an 11 percent cut to Medicare last month.
The failure of the Super Committee to agree on a way to trim $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit is being blamed for the cut.
According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, nursing homes were hit with the almost $200 million cut in October under the new rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This cut along with other provisions included in the rule could reduce Medicare rates by as much as 18 percent, or $18 million, PHCA said in a recent news release.
Two-thirds of all nursing home residents are on Medicaid. Medicaid payments to Pennsylvania nursing homes fall short of the cost of care and facilities are absorbing an average of $7,000 for each Medicaid resident each year.
The PHCA said a national survey released in November found nursing homes across the country are laying off workers, freezing or reducing wages, changing benefit plans, and delaying renovations because of reduced revenue.