The Basket Case…

Good morning, ProviderNation.

The fine folks at AHCA have some questions about CMS’ math. In comments made public last night, AHCA honcho Gov. Mark Parkinson pushes back against CMS’ efforts to recount Medicare shares for skilled nursing centers.

This may sound like looking the ole gift horse in the mouth—after all, long term care folks are getting a boost from the market basket update—but Parkinson says he’s worried that CMS’ methodology is a bit, um, off. The fine folks at CMS, you see, based their calculations on fiscal 2010 cost reports and, in the view of many long term advocates, “may have skewed the major cost category weights and questions the validity and accuracy of the resulting weight estimates.”

“We believe CMS’ action of rebasing and revising the market basket to reflect the recent mix of goods and services that our members use to deliver high quality care is reasonable,” Parkinson says in a news release. “However, AHCA has a number of concerns with CMS’ approach in utilizing the FY 2010 cost reports. We hope to work with CMS to address our data concerns and strongly recommend that the agency defer from rebasing and revising the market basket until it has a full year of more accurate cost reports.”

Among other things, AHCA is asking CMS for “more detailed methodology descriptions,” “more specificity,” and “a blended index” where hospitals and long term care outfits split the money.

AHCA also urges the agency to use a 0.45 percentage point adjustment for forecast errors, as opposed to the current 0.5 percent.


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