By Steve Twedt, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A looming cut in the amount Medicare reimburses to care for nursing home residents could threaten both access to nursing homes and the quality of care they can provide, says the head of Pennsylvania's skilled nursing home and personal care home trade association.
"Pennsylvania's skilled nursing facilities simply cannot absorb a Medicare cut of this size, especially at a time when their Medicaid reimbursements are so far below the actual cost of care," said physician Stuart Shapiro, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management.
The Harrisburg-based organization represents nursing homes, assisted care and personal care facilities, and related provider services.
Last Friday, officials at the federal Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services announced an 11.1 percent cut for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, saying the lower rates correct earlier, unintended overpayments "and better align Medicare payments with costs ... more