KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Nursing-Home Operators Face Credit Crunch

The Wall Street Journal reports that instability in the health care environment is making banks hesitant to give mortgages to nursing homes.

The Wall Street Journal: Nursing-Home Operators Turn To The U.S.
The Federal Housing Administration has come to the rescue of nursing-home operators that are having a tough time obtaining traditional financing for mortgage loans. ... . Lenders are worried that nursing-home companies may face trouble repaying the loans in the future if they are hit with cutbacks by state governments or the federal Medicare program (Pruitt, 1/29).

More news about provisions in the fiscal cliff deal that could affect the health industry --

The Wall Street Journal: Room For Favors In 'Cliff' Deal
The New Year's Day legislation that averted tax increases for millions of Americans brought an unwelcome surprise for Elekta AB, a Swedish maker of radiation tools designed to battle brain tumors. A provision, inserted at the last minute, sharply cut Medicare payments for the company's product while leaving unchanged those of its direct competitor, Varian Medical Systems Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif. Varian lobbyists pushed for the change, … which was put through by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.). Under the change, payments for hospital outpatient surgeries using Elekta's technology would drop by 58%, news that knocked the company's stock sharply through early January (Mundy, 1/28).

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