Medicare cuts hammer the hospital sector

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
By Paul Martin

Reductions to nursing facilities also take a bite out of REITs

By Russ Britt
MarketWatch.com

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Planned cuts in Medicare payments to skilled-nursing facilities hit the entire hospital sector in Monday trading, including real-estate investment trusts, and one nursing stock lost more than half its value.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday that it planned to reduce payments to skilled-nursing facilities by 11.1% for fiscal 2012, cutting $3.87 billion out of the spending plan.
CMS said in a note Friday that the rates “correct for an unintended spike in payment levels and better align Medicare payments with costs.”

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