CAHs speak out against cuts to swing beds in Medicare extenders bill

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The Critical Access Hospital Coalition wants its member hospitals to call on state representatives to protect swing bed payment rates, which are currently on the line to help pay for the House's latest Medicare extenders bill.

The bill, proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 15, would extend several Medicare programs, including the Medicare Dependent Hospital Program, the Low-Volume Adjustment Program, the Home Health rural add-on, Ground Ambulance Add-Ons and the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, among others. The cost of these extensions is funded in part by lower reimbursements for CAH swing beds, which are beds that can be used for acute care or long-term care and have no length-of-stay limit.

Under the House bill, swing beds would be reimbursed under the lower Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System rates, which the CAH Coalition claims would be "devastating" to rural hospital finances.

 

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