The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Implications of the Balanced Budget Act Refinements in SNFs

Jill A. Eicher, MPA American Association for Respiratory Care

The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 mandated the development of a prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities (SNF). The SNF PPS was implemented by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) on July 1, 1998. The SNF PPS adversely affected respiratory therapists and their patients since respiratory therapy was not recognized as a separate medical specialty under this payment system, but as an ancillary service. As a result, inadequate funding was provided to treat respiratory therapy patients in SNFs.
Through efforts by the AARC and a coalition of health care organizations, the Balanced Budget Refinement Act (BBRA) of 1999 included several provisions to address the needs of SNF patients requiring respiratory therapy delivered by competent providers. This lecture focuses on the provisions of the BBRA that positively impacted the delivery of respiratory therapy in SNFs; the current status of these provisions as well as anticipated actions by HCFA on this issue.

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