Most nursing homes will lose some Medicare funding in 2006 and beyond because of changes to the prospective payment system, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging said. The changes -- a new case-mix classification and an overhaul of wage-index areas -- are part of final CMS regulations for skilled-nursing payments in 2006. The final regulations, unlike the proposed regulations released in May, include a 3.1% rate increase and a $20 million rise in aggregate payments, the CMS said. The proposed regulations would have boosted rates 3% with no aggregate increase. The new classifications take effect in January, the second quarter of federal fiscal 2006, and replace add-on payments, which will total $350 million in the first quarter, according to the CMS. The association said the case-mix classification was flawed and most nursing homes will lose funding under it. Many homes also will lose substantial Medicare payments from the wage-index redrawing, the association said. Read the regulations. -- by Joseph Mantone
Nursing home group knocks payment system changes
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.