Louisiana Nursing Home Medicare Cuts Total $20.3 Million Resulting From Recently-Passed Congressional Tax Bill

Louisiana SNFs Suffer 6th Largest Medicare Cut on National Basis, New Study Finds

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Avalere Health analysis detailing the negative impact on the nation's Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) resulting from so called "bad debt" provisions passed in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 finds Louisiana SNFs (more commonly known as nursing homes) will suffer a $20.3 million Medicare funding reduction – the sixth largest cut nationally.

"Like many states, Louisiana's Medicaid program is fragile," said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC), which funded the analysis. "Because Medicare and Medicaid together pay for the care of approximately three of every four Louisiana nursing home patients, it is crucial to recognize how these new federal Medicare cuts upset facilities' already fragile funding environment."

Regarding health policy, the phrase "bad debt" is a misnomer, Rosenbloom said. "Nursing homes in Louisiana have no legal recourse to collect 'bad debt' from the Louisiana Medicaid agency -- and is more accurately described as 'uncollectible debt' as mandated by federal law," stated Rosenbloom. "We must continue to reinforce this fact with congressional leaders, and respectfully encourage Louisiana lawmakers to keep this in mind as the budget process progresses."

According to the Avalere Health analysis, the "bad debt" cut for nursing homes in the new tax law found Florida facilities will absorb the largest Medicare reduction ($60.5 million), followed by OH ($30.5 million), IL ($28.8 million), PA ($24.2 million), NC ($22.6) and LA ($20.3 million). Additional information and methodology notes available at www.aqnhc.org

Rosenbloom pointed out the nation's nursing home sector is already slated to absorb another $48 billion nationally in Medicare reductions between FY 2012-21, and that facilities remain disproportionately reliant on Medicaid as compared to other providers -- with Medicaid paying for 57 percent of patient days.

SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care