Sinema: Assist Arizona Long-Term Care Facilities, Prevent Rural Closures

Jun 29, 2022

Senator urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to help struggling long-term care facilities by adjusting payment rates over three years

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema joined with colleagues to urge the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to phase-in payment adjustments over a three-year period to help Arizona’s long-term care facilities transition and prevent rural nursing home closures that will harm Arizona’s most vulnerable seniors.
“Arizona’s most vulnerable seniors depend on their long-term care facilities in rural and urban areas to help them stay healthy and live with dignity in their later years. Phasing in Medicare payment adjustments will help these facilities adjust to new rates and prevent closures,” said Sinema.
CMS proposed payment cuts for fiscal year 2023 to skilled nursing facilities that provide long-term care. Sinema’s letter urges CMS to phase any cuts over a three-year period to help struggling long-term care facilities adjust and prevent rural closures that will harm Arizona’s most vulnerable seniors, at a time when many nursing homes are struggling with increased costs and workforce shortages in order to provide high-quality care for loved ones.
CMS must adjust Medicare payments to ensure Medicare is not overpaying on some services and underpaying others, such as primary care and mental health. Many long-term care facilities are still dealing with significant hardships, especially in rural communities, in the wake of the pandemic. A large cut in reimbursements in a single year may accelerate the closure of long-term care facilities or harm their ability to care for more seniors, especially in rural communities where there is already a shortage of long-term care options.
Click HERE to read the letter.