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LTC Coalition Urges Lame Duck Congress to Implement New Medicare Payment System

December 1, 2010
by root
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The Coalition to Protect Senior Care, a national association composed of frontline long-term caregivers and association stakeholders, this week warned the outgoing Congress that failure to repeal the delay in the implementation of a new Medicare payment system will add to economic instability prevalent in skilled nursing facilities nationally. Delays were originally sought to two regulatory changes approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2009, but only one regulation was delayed.

“Nursing homes throughout America are already experiencing significant economic turbulence as a result of this persistent, ongoing recession, and the ability to hire, train and retain quality staff has been an enormous challenge—especially throughout rural America, where great distance between facilities makes matters still more challenging,” said Lisa Cantrell, co-founder of the National Association of Health Care Assistants and co-chair of the Coalition.

“There is no reason for the U.S. Senate NOT to act immediately,” Cantrell said. “Congress should not leave town without helping seniors.”

Cantrell pointed out the House of Representatives has passed a technical fix, and that the nursing home community, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) all support a swift resolution. "The ball is in the U.S. Senate's court to act on this key health policy matter affecting a wide swath of facilities,” she said.

The Coalition to Protect Senior Care consists of the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing (AALTCN); the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA); the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators (AANAC); the National Rural Health Association (NRHA); The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators (AANAC); the American Society of Health Care Administration Executives (ASHCAE); ASHCAE state affiliate members; the American Health Care Association (AHCA); the American Health Quality Association (AHQA); the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL); the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA); the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care; and the Senior Clinician Group.