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AHCA Briefs the Hill on Skilled Nursing Quality Efforts  
AHCA Briefs the Hill on Skilled Nursing Quality Efforts
Long term, post-acute care leaders demonstrate Quality Initiative’s value in improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities
(202) 898-3165


Washington, DC – Hosted by Congressmen Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Jim Matheson (D-UT), today the American Health Care Association and its members spoke to Congressional staffers and other key stakeholders about the Association’s unprecedented, national quality effort – the Quality Initiative. The bipartisan briefing allowed Hill aides to learn about the long term and post-acute care’s ambitions to meet measurable goals to improve the quality of care in skilled nursing care centers, while also reducing government costs on health programs, like Medicare.
“The future health of our nation’s long term care system is important to my constituents.  The more my staff and other congressional offices can learn about this field of medicine and care, the better informed decisions we can make here in Washington,” said Rep. Griffith. “I’m pleased we could host this bipartisan gathering, and look forward to many more briefings where tough questions are asked and potential solutions are offered.”
“Generating savings while improving the quality of care remains one of the greatest challenges in healthcare,” said Rep. Matheson. “Unfortunately, the path we have been on has focused on across-the-board cuts that affect a provider’s ability to deliver services, and threatens patients’ ability to access care. We need to focus on targeting efficiencies within the system, and hearing from stakeholders is important to that end. I’m pleased that the industry is stepping forward with its Quality Initiative and am proud to co-host this event.”
“The AHCA Quality Initiative is a key example of how the skilled nursing profession is improving lives by offering solutions,” said AHCA President & CEO Mark Parkinson. “We are excited about the progress our member facilities are making in all areas of the Quality Initiative and look forward to realizing the impact these improvements will have on seniors and on savings.”
Last week, AHCA announced new data demonstrating the progress facilities are making with the Quality Initiative, specifically in reducing antipsychotic medications and hospital readmissions. The Association found that at the end of the third quarter of 2012, nearly 25 percent of its member facilities has already reached a three-year goal to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions by 15 percent. AHCA also learned that 14,330 hospital readmissions were prevented in member facilities, saving Medicare approximately $140 million.
The panel, held in the Rayburn House Office Building, also featured:

  • Dr. David Gifford, MD, MPH, AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs
  • Dirk Anjewierden, Executive Director, Utah Health Care Association; and
  • Deborah L. Petrine, President/Owner of Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, Inc. which operates 12 facilities in Virginia.

About the AHCA Quality Initiative
The AHCA Quality Initiative is an effort that builds upon the existing work of the long term and post-acute care field by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve quality of care in America’s skilled nursing centers. AHCA members are encouraged to reach defined, concrete goals over the next three years, in four core areas: hospital readmissions, staff stability, customer satisfaction and the off-label use of antipsychotic medications. For more information on the AHCA Quality Initiative, please visit
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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 or