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Frontline Caregiver Coalition to Bush Administration: Stopping Pending $770 Million Medicare Cut Most Important 2008 Health Policy Issue

Negative Impact on Local Seniors to Receive Extensive Publicity, Discussion if Medicare Cut Approved This Week

WASHINGTON, July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition to Protect Senior Care today stated stopping the Bush Administration from going forward with a new Medicare regulation, which will cut $770 million in U.S. seniors' Medicare Part A nursing home benefits, is the national organization's top legislative priority for 2008, and said the negative impact on local seniors' care will be a central point of discussion at the state level if the misguided Medicare regulation goes into effect.

"When it comes to this pending Medicare regulation, the stakes for seniors' care has never been higher, and we consider stopping this major threat our top legislative priority for 2008," stated Lisa Cantrell, a co-founder of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, and a national spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Senior Care. "The Medicare regulation in question hurts seniors' care and wastes taxpayer dollars, and we intend to further discuss -- in extensive, thorough fashion -- how this illogical change in Medicare policy turns back the clock on documented improvements in beneficiaries' care."

Cantrell added that while the cost of providing quality care continues to rise -- especially in regard to recruiting, training and retaining the key staff that make a difference in care quality and patient outcomes -- the federal government must not further undermine facility capacity and patient care itself with unwise, counterproductive policy decisions. "From our perspective as front line caregivers, the Administration's plan to move forward with the Medicare funding cuts will put at risk a facility's ability to sustain caregiver wage and benefit packages that are already on the margin of being uncompetitive with other service-oriented professions," Cantrell continued. "Still further, the regulatory directive and the resulting Medicare funding cuts will prove enormously detrimental to the Administration's own quality improvement initiatives.

"We appreciate and are grateful that so many U.S. Senate and House members of both parties are standing up to protect their most vulnerable constituents, and fighting for the federal funding necessary to help preserve and promote quality nursing home care."

The Coalition to Protect Senior Care consists of the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing (AALTCN); the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA); the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators (AANAC); the National Rural Health Association (NRHA); the American Association of Nurse Executives (AANEX); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA); the American Society of Health Care Administration Executives (ASHCAE); the American Health Care Association (AHCA); the American Health Quality Association (AHQA); the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL); the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA); the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care; the Coalition of Women in Long Term Care (COWL); and the Senior Clinician Group.

SOURCE Coalition to Protect Senior Care
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