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State, National Long Term Care Community Applauds New Hampshire Leader in U.S. Senate for Helping Lead Effort to Block $770 Million Bush Medicare Cuts
Date:7/1/2008

ant health policy matter because it makes little sense to first hurt seniors' care, and then do so in a manner wasteful of tax dollars. This is bad, ill-considered policy from the Bush Administration, and the facts simply do not support proceeding with these Medicare funding cuts."

The state and national long term care leaders noted that existing Medicare policy was designed to encourage the movement of certain high-acuity Medicare beneficiaries to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). As a result, the site of care for a significant number of high acuity patients appropriately shifted to SNFs, and a recent independent analysis shows that this shift saved Medicare an estimated $709 million. (Source: Avalere Health, LLC)

Their joint letter warns the Senators are "deeply concerned that high-quality skilled nursing care for America's seniors will be threatened - and reductions in spending of this magnitude would severely alter not only the quality of nursing home care, but also access to nursing home care for our nation's seniors." The letter also references AHCA's finding that the Medicare cuts will hurt our state economy, and cause New Hampshire to lose $8.8 million in total economic benefits, and $4.3 million in lost wages.

Furthermore, existing Medicare policy, as intended, is currently helping facilities throughout the state successfully serve higher acuity patients - at a lower cost than other care settings. Current Medicare policy, according to an independent analysis by Avalere Health, LLC, saved Medicare a substantial $709 million in 2006. In the final analysis, the Administration's ill considered change to Medicare policy would have unfortunate and unintended results both for patients and for the Medicare program itself - including diminished care for seniors and higher costs for taxpayers.

Fortunately, Senator Sununu recognizes on an independent, informed basis that the looming Medicare cuts are, plain and simple, bad policy that
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SOURCE New Hampshire Health Care Association
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