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MedPAC Commissioner: Under-Funding Turns Medicaid Heavy SNFs into ‘7th Circle of Hell’

Posted on Monday, December 23, 2019 1:36 PM

MedPAC recently reiterated that Medicare’s payments for skilled nursing facilities are too high and acknowledged the challenges for providers resulting from low Medicaid reimbursement.

Recently,  Dr. Carol Carter delivered a presentation to MedPAC which explored Medicare margins for SNFs amid the larger perspectives of beneficiary access to care, quality-of-care indicators, access to capital markets, and changes in Medicare costs and payments. Medicare margins for SNFs remain high, with an aggregate margin of 10.3%, while the total margin for SNFs was very different: -0.3%.

“The future of long-term and post-acute providers is at risk,” AHCA president and CEO Mark Parkinson said in Tuesday statement. “Centers across the country are closing, leaving seniors and their families with no place to go for care. MedPAC reports that SNFs are averaging a -0.3 percent margin. That means that many providers are losing money while struggling to keep their doors open.”

“I wonder … would it be possible to orient our support, or lack of support, for SNF compensation depending on the number of Medicaid beds they serve?” MedPAC commissioner Marjorie Ginsburg said during the meeting. “And I don’t know what the average is. I suspect it’s a chronic problem nationally, to get the number of Medicaid beds necessary.”

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