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Minnesota, National Long Term Care Advocates: Pending Bush Medicare Cut Hurts State's Rural Seniors
Date:5/29/2008

New Study: Rural Seniors' Medicare-Financed Nursing Home Care Slashed $3.7 Million in Year Ahead; Federal Lawmakers, In Minnesota This Week, Urged to Publicly Oppose Cuts to Seniors' Medicare Funding

MINNEAPOLIS, May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With federal lawmakers back in Minnesota this week for the Memorial Day district work period, state and national long term care advocates today urged the state's U.S. Senators and House members to publicly oppose the Bush Administration's planned regulatory cuts to seniors' Medicare Part A nursing home benefits - cuts a new national study finds will pose a direct threat to rural seniors' nursing home care and to facilities' ongoing operations.

At issue is the fact the Bush Administration issued a proposed regulation on May 1, 2008 that would, according to a new analysis by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), cut rural seniors' Medicare-financed nursing home care by $133.2 million nationally for FY 2009. In rural Minnesota, the cut will total $3.7 million in the year ahead - with a Patient per Day (PPD) impact of $11.57 per rural Minnesota Medicare beneficiary, according to the data.

Patti Cullen, President and CEO of the Care Providers of Minnesota (CPM), warned the Bush Administration's new regulatory-driven Medicare cuts, in conjunction with the ongoing crisis surrounding state Medicaid rates that already underpay nursing homes for the cost of providing skilled nursing care, will only further undermine facility care and their ability to serve seniors' needs. Specifically, she said, "The Medicare cuts will not only place the jobs of key front line caregivers in jeopardy - the very direct care staff that make a difference in patient outcomes - but further undermine facility quality improvement initiatives that are making a positive difference."

Continued Cullen: "The Bush Administration's Medicare cuts, coupled with existing state Medicaid under funding, will severely destabilize
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SOURCE Coalition to Protect Senior Care
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