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

nursing facility operating costs are staffing-related, and that skilled nursing facilities are playing a growing, important role when it comes to providing the rehabilitative care patients require to return home to active, productive lives in their communities. "Medicare cuts would have a disproportionately negative impact on America's rural facilities, and would make finding and retaining highly-credentialed staff still more challenging in an already difficult environment. Sustaining rural facilities' quality improvement programs would be placed in direct jeopardy to the detriment of every resident."

Rural Seniors Would Shoulder Approximately 25% of Total Five-Year, $2.7 Billion Medicare Cuts

Further analysis of previously-released CBO scoring data finds seniors in rural America would shoulder approximately 25 percent of the total five year, $2.7 billion Medicare cuts - yet in states with higher rural populations, rural seniors and the skilled nursing facilities that serve them would bear disproportionately greater cuts. In particular, Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas requiring skilled nursing care would suffer significant reductions in daily funding.

In addition, the national long term care leaders emphasized, rural facilities would be increasingly forced to choose between the urgent staffing needs that impact quality in the near-term versus refurbishing facilities, upgrading technology, and purchasing new equipment - which impacts future care quality.

Pointing to how Medicare cuts would negatively impact rural America's local economic base, Rosenbloom observed that skilled nursing facilities are often the largest local employer: "America's rural communities depend upon the strength and vitality of local long term care facilities for jobs and economic development, and the negative ramifications resulting from federal Medicare cuts would quickly ripple through the local economic base from the standpoint of lost jobs, less hiring and
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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