Washington, DC – Long term and post-acute care providers from across the country will be knocking on the doors of Congress this week to brief Members about key issues important to the profession. During the two-day fly-in, hosted by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), dozens of providers will push a message of reform instead of cuts and offer solutions instead of rhetoric surrounding critical long term and post-acute care issues such as bad debt, the doc fix and hospital readmissions.
“As we approach the end of the year and an important time in forming the nation’s agenda, I want to be sure that the millions of Americans who depend on long term and post-acute care are remembered – and represented – in conversations on the Hill,” said Scott Allen, Vice President of Government Relations for Health Care Navigator and the Board President of Florida Health Care Association, the state’s largest advocacy organization for long term care providers. “I am here this week to remind leadership that cuts have repercussions on individuals in my community, and that our profession has solutions that offer better alternatives than across-the-board reductions.”
Many of the providers participating in this week’s fly-in event come from states poised to be hit hardest by spending cuts to the profession. Long term and post-acute care providers from Pennsylvania are facing a reduction of nearly $27.5 million a year if bad debt reimbursements, or payments to providers that cover the unpaid debt of beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, are further reduced to 25 percent as outlined in the President’s budget.
“A reduction to bad debt payments of this magnitude will severely impact our members’ ability to provide quality care to patients and residents,” said Michael C. Jacobs, Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs for the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. “I want to work with our nation’s leaders to implement smart policies that both protect the men and women who need our care and at the same time offer federal savings.”
This week’s fly-in concludes a month-long series of meetings on Capitol Hill hosted by AHCA/NCAL. Sixteen states met with their delegations on the Hill to share the message of funding reform. In addition to preventing reductions bad debt payments, providers asked Members:
• To support a permanent fix for extension to the Medicare sustainable growth rate that does not result in market basket reduction and includes the therapy extensions provision;
• To use AHCA/NCAL’s hospital readmissions proposal as an offset rather than using arbitrary cuts when developing the sustainable growth rate package; and
• To ensure observation stays count toward the required three-day stay by co-sponsoring the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1179/S. 569).
Meetings begin today and will continue through tomorrow, Oct. 24. To learn about AHCA/NCAL’s proposed solutions to these issues and more, please visit www.ahcancal.org/solutions.
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The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 11,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development 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.