AHCA/NCAL Praise Baucus/Levin Legislation to Protect Seniors��� Access to Quality Care, Help Preserve Key Frontline Health Jobs Vital to Patient Outcomes, Local Jobs Base
American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act Merits Strong Congressional Support
Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today voiced strong support for the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI). The legislation, said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, “will help to protect seniors’ access to quality care and help preserve key frontline health jobs vital to patient outcomes and states’ local jobs base.”
“AHCA/NCAL strongly supports the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act as there are many far reaching positive aspects of this legislation from the perspective of the nursing home and assisted living communities,” Yarwood said in a new letter thanking Baucus and Levin. “We are particularly pleased that you have chosen to provide a six month extension of the temporary increase in Federal Medicaid Matching Rate (FMAP). Given the dire economic problems facing the states and the difficult circumstances facing providers with Medicaid reimbursement, this provision makes good sense and is responsive to the tough economic situation in the various states.”
Yarwood pointed out that adequate and consistent Medicare and Medicaid funding is directly linked with high care quality and proper staffing, which cannot be achieved without stable government support. “For the millions of vulnerable frail, elderly and disabled Americans who depend upon on long term care and services, your bill represents the kind of help that is needed now to protect quality care and to preserve the jobs of the dedicated front line staff, who are working to improve the quality of life for those entrusted to their care,” he writes.
Continues the letter: “We are also very appreciative of the provision to repeal the delay of RUGs IV which will ultimately allow this to go into effect on October 1, 2010, along with the other payment changes contemplated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In addition, we commend you for providing increases to the Medicare physician payment rates. This is a critical issue for the physicians who provide valuable services to patients in skilled nursing facilities. There are many other provisions in the bill that will help skilled nursing facilities’ employees and the patients we serve. We thank you for crafting this legislation and we are pleased to provide our strong support. We look forward to working with you to help advance the passage of this important legislation.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.