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Health Policy Digest - March 2022

We are pleased to present the March issue of the ARN Health Policy Digest. This member benefit provides updates on health policy and legislative and regulatory developments that may be of interest to rehabilitation nurses.

President Signs Omnibus Deal 

On Tuesday, March 15, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022. The omnibus bill set funding levels for fiscal year 2022 following months of continuing resolutions. The final bill included increased funding for each of ARN's appropriations priorities, including $280 million for Title VIII Nursing Programs (a 6% increase); $181 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research (a 3% increase), and $116 million for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (a 3% increase). A full summary of enacted fiscal year 2022 funding levels for ARN's appropriations priorities is available here.

ARN Joins Letter on Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Rule 

On March 7, ARN and its partners at the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation sent a letter in response to the Contract Year 2023 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs Proposed Rule. The letter noted the overuse and misuse of prior authorization by Medicare Advantage plans prevent patients from accessing needed and appropriate post-acute and rehabilitation care. The letter also urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to include inpatient rehabilitation facilities, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term acute care hospitals in its network adequacy review process for Medicare Advantage plans.

PCORI Seeks Advisory Panel Applications & Nominations 

MedPAC Releases Spring Report 

On March 15, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its March 2022 report to Congress on Medicare Payment Policy. MedPAC is required to report to Congress each March on Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D. The report recommends a 5% payment cut to the base rates for skilled nursing facilities, home health care services, and inpatient rehabilitation services.

President Biden Addresses Nursing Home Staffing in State of the Union 

President Biden pledged to increase the safety and quality of nursing home care in his March 1 State of the Union. Biden's proposed reforms include establishing minimum staffing requirements, reducing room crowding, including staffing adequacy in the skilled nursing facility value-based purchasing program, and increase certain sanctions for poor-performing facilities, among other proposed changes. The proposed reforms received immediate pushback from stakeholders, noting that COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for nursing homes and additional fines and regulatory scrutiny would weaken an already struggling industry.

Did you see something recently that would impact rehab nurses and/or patient? Share your health policy/advocacy news by emailing it to Jeremy Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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