Parkinson Pushes Quality in Long Term, Post-Acute Care to Nation’s Lieutenant Governors
AHCA/NCAL President & CEO addresses health care reform implications on expert panel
Washington, DC – As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reaches its second anniversary, implementing and preparing for new health care policies within the law remain an ongoing focus for long term and post-acute care providers. That was the message conveyed by American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) President & CEO Mark Parkinson at a meeting today held by the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA).
“There’s much more to the Affordable Care Act than what is focused on by the media and the courts,” commented Parkinson. “There is a unique focus on aligning payment models to quality and to reducing costs. Skilled nursing and assisted living providers are already finding ways to meet these aims of better care, better health and lower cost.”
Parkinson spoke of health care reform issues on a panel along with other state government officials and health care experts at the NLGA’s Federal-State Relations Meeting. The panel also discussed better aligning Medicare and Medicaid for individuals that are eligible for both programs, as well as new care coordination payment structures, such as Accountable Care Organizations. The AHCA/NCAL President & CEO highlighted many of the advancements the long term and post-acute care profession is already making to achieve health care reform goals, including the Association’s own Quality Initiative and its proposal to reduce hospital readmissions.
“Regardless of what happens to ACA, skilled nursing and assisted living will do more to continue to improve quality of care while at the same time lowering costs,” continued Parkinson. “That’s why AHCA has challenged our own members to reach specific goals in four key areas through our Quality Initiative. We have also developed a proposal to reduce sending patients back to the hospital in order to save Medicare $2 billion by 2021. Both of these initiatives better serve our patients, and this is the kind of innovative thinking we need to address our growing health care problems.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 13,000 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.