Medicare and nursing homes

Rising costs in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health-related programs represent the central long-term fiscal challenge facing the nation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is therefore increasingly focusing on analyzing the causes of those rising costs and potential policy responses.
Thus begins the preface to a recent report from CBO on Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNF). In this study, in calculating how Medicare's payment rates impact the volume of SNF services, CBO used two separate analyses: geographic-level and provider-level. In the geographic-level analysis, data came from 3,436 hospital service areas. In the provider-level analysis, volume was the number of Medicare-covered SNF days provided by a facility in a year. Changes in payment rates were calculated using "a Laspeyres-type index" and a mix of patients in the base year and the following year.

The paper found that the volume of SNF services varied positively with payment rates. At the provider level, SNF volume responded only to increases in payment rates, while at the geographic level, SNFs responded to both increases and decreases in payment rates.

Background Paper: The Impact of Medicare's Payment Rates on the Volume of Services Provided by Skilled Nursing Facilities (pdf, 32pp/732kB), July 2007

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my personal opinion, part of the reason for the rise in Medicaid, Medicare and general health insurance has to do with the fact that such social ills as nursing home negligence, medical malpractice lawsuits and product liability are so expensive. These social problems need to be addressed by policymakers in all sectors - both public and private. Insurance companies factors these anathema into their rates and premiums, thus driving up costs. As usual, rising health care costs are not caused by any single factor, but my many.

Las Vegas Nevada personal injury lawyer


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