Critical Medicaid funding for nursing home care may be in jeopardy.  Congress is looking for ways to cut spending as 2012 comes to a close.  One thing Congress may be looking to cut is funding for provider assessments.  Indiana providers would not be able to manage without this funding.

What are provider assessment funds?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – through The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – allow state governments to enhance nursing home reimbursement rates by providing federal matching funds for funds collected by the states through  nursing facility bed taxes.  In Indiana there has been legislation enacted that provides for a quality assessment fee (QAF) to be collected per CMS guidelines.   Per this legislation, 80 percent of all fees collected are matched with federal funds at the state’s 62 percent federal financial participation rate (FFP) and returned to the nursing home industry as enhanced reimbursement rates.

This funding is particularly at risk because Indiana’s provider assessment rate is at or near maximum allowable levels.  The provider assessment program is essential to funding quality long term care services for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Contact your Congress person today and tell them to oppose any legislative proposal that would reduce the maximum allowable Medicaid provider assessment rate or quality assessment fee.