The American Health Care Association and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, which represent nursing homes, criticized a recommendation by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission against providing nursing homes with a Medicare inflation update in 2007. According to transcripts of a MedPAC meeting last month, the 2006 aggregate Medicare margin for skilled-nursing facilities will be 9.7%. The nursing home groups argued that their members face escalating costs and are underfunded by Medicaid, which covers two-thirds of their residents. Jim Morrell of the Alliance said the combined Medicare-Medicaid margin for nursing homes is between 2% and 3%. AHCA spokeswoman Susan Feeney said the group doesn't think Medicare "should be relied on for propping up Medicaid" but does believe MedPAC should consider both funding sources when setting the annual Medicare update. -- by Jessica Zigmond
Nursing home groups criticize MedPAC proposal
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