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Skilled Nursing Care Coalition Voices 'Alarm' About State Budget

Governor's proposal would be devastating to frail elderly and disabled Ohioans

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Skilled Nursing Care Coalition, consisting of the three organizations representing Ohio's skilled nursing facilities that together care for more than 80,000 frail elderly and disabled Ohioans, today expressed their alarm over the "budget framework" Governor Ted Strickland announced late Friday.

"While we respect the Governor's effort to confront the budgetary challenges Ohio faces and his willingness to consider additional sources of revenue, his proposed framework is devastating to Ohio's elderly," said Peter Van Runkle, Executive Director of the Ohio Health Care Association. "Skilled nursing facilities have taken the brunt of past budget-cutting exercises, and our part of the safety net for vulnerable Ohioans would simply be shredded."

Victoria Gresh, Executive Director of The Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes, Inc., added, "This new proposal is even worse than the ill-advised plan that the House and Senate has already rejected. We urge them to do it again." She pointed out that skilled nursing facilities are being subjected to a massive fee increase that will generate over a billion dollars in revenue to help fund Medicaid services for children and adults, but are receiving nothing back but reimbursement cuts. "It puts our frail seniors, who have nowhere else to turn, at risk," she said.

"Our mission is providing the best care we can to people who are unable to care for themselves," said John Alfano, President and Chief Executive Officer of AOPHA (Association of Ohio Philanthropic Homes, Housing, and Services for the Aging). "The Governor's proposed cuts will cost thousands of jobs, and I'm afraid some facilities that are important parts of their communities will have to close," he concluded.

SOURCE Skilled Nursing Care Coalition
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