In December, while the “fiscal cliff” loomed large, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (the Alliance) released its guidelines for post-acute care reform—Three Pillars of Post Acute Reform. This policy outlines three guiding principles to achieve reform:
1. Patient need must drive payment system reforms for post-acute care.
2. Payment systems must be more closely tied to comparative quality performance.
3. Payment must be adequate to give providers the resources necessary to meet growing patient needs and sustain the delivery of high-quality care.
Alan G. Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance, stated in a release that “2013 must be the year when we finally break the zero-sum status quo that hurts patients and providers, is devoid of accountability to the U.S. taxpayer, and which jeopardizes the ongoing health and well-being of millions of Medicare beneficiaries.”
Rosenbloom notes that SNFs are facing $65 billion in cumulative Medicare reductions over the next 10 years. He emphasizes the importance of having in place “a transformative post acute care policy model.”
According to the Alliance, Medicare and Medicaid pay for nearly 75 percent of patient days in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). With these directing principles, SNFs will be able to provide optimum care to the growing number of older adults in this chronically ill and increasingly frail population.