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New Studies of Bush Administration $770 Million SNF Medicare Cut Find Seniors' Care Jeopardized, Local Jobs Lost, National and State Economies Threatened
Date:5/13/2008

sfully and intelligently moving large numbers of high acuity patients into skilled nursing facilities. These patients would otherwise have been cared for in a higher-cost setting -- which is completely at odds with the Medicare modernization efforts America needs and that seniors deserve." Rosenbloom said the policies now in effect saved Medicare $709 million in 2006 alone, according to a previously-released study by Avalere Health, LLC.

Yarwood and Rosenbloom argued that as the nature of the nursing home patient population continues to change and evolve, it should be the policy of the federal government to help facilitate the ability of nursing homes to accommodate the care needs of higher-acuity, post-acute Medicare beneficiaries.

Tony Marshall, Senior VP & COO of the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) in Tallahassee, FL, said the CMS action to cut Medicare-financed nursing home care will be especially damaging to seniors in states like Florida, who, he says, have just endured substantial Medicaid funding cuts as a result of recent state legislative actions. "As a result of the CMS policy change, Florida seniors are facing the second highest Medicare funding reduction in the nation -- on top of the state Medicaid cuts passed into state law in recent weeks," Marshall said. "Medicare and Medicaid funding are inextricably linked. The combination of cuts to both programs squeezes facilities in a manner harmful to older residents' rising care needs, as well as to our local economy and caregiver jobs base."

Yarwood and Rosenbloom also noted that a diverse group of lawmakers -- Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- are leading the effort on Capitol Hill to reverse the proposed CMS policy. The text of the separate Roberts, Wyden and Stabenow letters are available at http://www.ahca.org.


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SOURCE The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care; AmericanHealth Care
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