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State, National Nursing Home Caregivers: Medicare Funding Cut to Long Term Care Will Jeopardize Vital Staffing Positions, Compromise Care for Maine Seniors
Date:10/14/2009

ors receiving nursing home care, according to a recent analysis conducted by the American Health Care Association (AHCA). These funding reductions come at a time when seniors' nursing home care funding has been deeply cut by Medicare in recent months as well as historically under-funded by Medicaid, thereby threatening overall quality of care and important caregiver positions, according to representatives of the CPSC, which co-hosted the event.

"Our ongoing concern with deep Medicare cuts, in conjunction with the state Medicaid funding crisis fueled by the recession, was reflected in Senator Snowe's comments yesterday following her vote on the Senate Finance Committee health care reform package," Cantrell continued. "We thank her for focusing much-needed attention on the unique challenges we face in the continued provision of quality care to the vulnerable patients we serve in Maine and across the nation."

Cantrell said that moving forward, the Coalition will continue to impress upon lawmakers that because three of every four of our nursing home patients' care is funded by Medicare and Medicaid combined -- and because facilities devote a full 70% of operating expenses to wages, benefits and other labor costs -- adequate Medicare funding levels for nursing home care as part of health reform is integral to staffing stability and quality care in Maine facilities, as it is nationwide. "Senator Snowe has been a consistent champion for the long term care community, and we urge her to keep fighting for stable Medicare funding for seniors in nursing homes as the health care reform debate moves forward," she said.

"I'm deeply concerned about what these proposed Medicare cuts will mean to our residents, and how facilities' having to cut staff positions and programs will impact residents' quality of care," said Laurie McFarren, Executive Director for Kennebunk Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. "I hope that by calling attention to our membe
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SOURCE Coalition to Protect Senior Care
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