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AHCA, Alliance Praise New Bipartisan, Bi-Cameral Effort Urging Bush Administration to Forego Medicare Cuts
Date:6/5/2008

Senators Conrad, Coleman and Reps. Pomeroy, Capito, Berkley Leading Respective Chambers' Letter Effort Urging HHS Sec. Leavitt to Stop $770 Million Cut to Seniors' Medicare-Financed Nursing Home Care

WASHINGTON, June 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care today praised U.S. Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for leading a new effort in the U.S. Senate and House, respectively, to prevent the Bush Administration from moving forward with regulatory-driven cuts to seniors' Medicare Part A nursing home funding. AHCA and the Alliance said their initiative reflects growing public sentiment against Medicare cuts that jeopardize seniors' care, and undermine the national, state and local economic and jobs base.

In a new "Dear Colleague" letter, the Senators and House lawmakers are seeking signatures for a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt warning, "We are deeply concerned that high-quality skilled nursing care for America's seniors will be threatened if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) moves forward with an administrative proposal that would cut $770 million in Medicare funding for skilled nursing facility (SNF) care in 2009 and more than $4 billion over the next five years."

Continues the two letters to Sec. Leavitt, "As you know, in 2005, CMS revised and expanded the Medicare patient classification categories - called resource utilization groups (RUGs) - which are used to set Medicare Part A daily payment rates for beneficiaries needing SNF care. In a July 2005 statement, the agency stated, 'The new payment plan will more accurately compensate providers for the care of medically complex patients by creating new payment categories that more closely match the kind of services being provided to them. At the same time, CMS imp
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SOURCE The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
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