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Medicare Cuts in Bush Budget 'Shortsighted, Far Off the Mark' in Protecting Seniors' Long Term Care Needs, Sustaining Nursing Home Quality Gains
Date:2/4/2008

's nursing homes, this budget would be devastating to the ability of nursing homes to sustain quality improvement."

Rosenbloom praised Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who has already announced his intention to fight the Medicare cuts, and noted that the Alliance will work on a bipartisan basis with lawmakers to demonstrate how these funding reductions will adversely impact constituents' care needs at the local level and will challenge providers to maintain wages and benefits for the hundreds of thousands of direct care workers employed in skilled nursing facilities, 85% of whom are women and 30% of whom are minorities.

"We plan on ensuring the discussion about this federal budget and its Medicare cuts are fully aired at the state and local levels because as state Medicaid budgets continue to be squeezed by more challenging economic conditions, it is essential to sound the alarm that patient care and caregiver jobs alike could face serious and adverse consequences," he continued. "The Administration's budget is shortsighted and largely ignores the new realities of the Medicare post-acute marketplace -- to the detriment of Medicare beneficiaries and the health care workers on whom they rely for quality services."

Noting the Administration has justified prior Medicare cuts by citing the work of an independent federal panel, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), Rosenbloom said that by failing to consider the substantial Medicaid payment shortfalls to nursing homes in formulating its recommendations, MedPAC provides the Administration, Congress and the public a flawed basis upon which to assess the funding landscape, and to ultimately determine the best policy.

As additional details emerge surrounding the FY 2009 budget, the Alliance will continue to comment when warranted.


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SOURCE The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
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