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Medicare Cuts Pose Disproportionate Threat to Idaho's Rural Seniors, Local Jobs Base
Date:11/16/2007

Analysis of Congressional Budget Office Data Finds Cuts Would Jeopardize Health, Well-Being of Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress begins to consider possible cuts to seniors' Medicare Part A skilled nursing facilities funding, an analysis of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data finds five-year $2.7 billion cuts - like those proposed at the onset of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) debate - pose a disproportionate threat to Idaho's rural seniors, and to the jobs and employment base of the state's rural communities. With 66 percent of Idaho's nursing homes located in rural areas, those facilities would face $12.28 per day, per patient, less in Medicare funding for Idaho seniors.

"Medicare cuts would hurt the most vulnerable Idaho citizens," said Joe Rudd, Administrator with SunBridge Rehab and Living Center in Meridian. "Slashing funding would greatly impact our facility and those in rural areas. We work hard to ensure the best quality care for our residents and these cuts would impact skilled nursing facilities across the state. We urge Congress to consider the impact on seniors in Idaho and around the country, and not enact these cuts."

"If Medicare funding is cut by Congress in the manner contemplated, there will be a disproportionate, negative impact on Idaho's rural seniors and the facilities and staff who care for them," warned Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA). "In Idaho, as in most rural communities, skilled nursing facilities are not generally within close proximity to one another, and are more widely dispersed geographically. Consequently, rural facilities' ability to hire, train and retain key direct care staff will be severely compromised if Medicare cuts are enacted into law."

Alan Rosenbloom, President and CEO of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC), noted that approximately 70 percent of skilled
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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