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New Study of House Health Reform Bill: Seniors in 15 States Face Over $1 Billion in Medicare-Funded Nursing Home Cuts Over Ten Years

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Proposed Medicare Cuts Will Harm Seniors' Care, Place More than 50,000 Nursing Staff Jobs in Jeopardy

Seniors in CA, FL, NY, TX, OH, IL, PA, NJ, MA, MI Face Largest Medicare Cuts

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new American Health Care Association (AHCA) analysis of the pending House health reform bill, combined with the impact of a recently-enacted Medicare regulation cutting Medicare-funded nursing home care by $12 billion over ten years, finds seniors in fifteen states requiring nursing and rehabilitative care will face total funding cuts in excess of $1 billion over that same time period. Nationally, the study finds, seniors' Medicare cuts will total $44 billion over ten years, prompting AHCA President and CEO Bruce Yarwood to warn that U.S. seniors' care needs are endangered by the House bill, as are the jobs of more than 50,000 caregivers nationwide.

"The bottom line is that U.S. seniors' Medicare-funded nursing care will be substantially undermined by the pending health reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, and we urge lawmakers to use the last two weeks of the August district work period to revise its plan to ensure seniors are helped by the reform measure - not hurt by it," said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "Arguments being made that seniors' benefits will not be reduced by the House bill ignore the fact that when Medicare cuts provider reimbursement, providers, in turn, are forced to cut staff because labor expenses comprise 70 percent of facility costs. Cutting staff within a facility, has a direct, immediate, negative impact on patients and their care - and that is what the House bill will do."

The new analysis of the House bill's Medicare funding reductions over ten years (combined with the $12 billion ten year Medicare cuts just put into effect by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is computed by the AHCA Reimbursement and Research Department using the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of both HR 3200 and the recent CMS funding rule, along with Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) utilization data, and finds the following:

In crafting a final bill, Yarwood also urged lawmakers to take into account the fact the Medicaid program already under funds the cost of providing care by at least $4.2 billion annually, according to Eljay, LLC, thereby already placing enormous stress on facilities and staff before federal Medicare cuts even enter the picture. "We believe Congress should preserve, protect and defend seniors' Medicare-funded nursing home care, and we respectfully ask lawmakers to do so when Congress reconvenes in September."

All 50 State Cut Data Available at www.ahca.org

Rank State Total Ten Year Cuts Medicare-Funded Nursing Home Care #1 California $3.78 Billion #2 Florida $3.48 Billion #3 New York $2.87 Billion #4 Texas $2.71 Billion #5 Ohio $2.55 Billion #6 Illinois $2.43 Billion #7 Pennsylvania $2.08 Billion #8 New Jersey $2.02 Billion #9 Massachusetts $1.58 Billion #10 Michigan $1.49 Billion #11 Indiana $1.34 Billion #12 North Carolina $1.25 Billion #13 Virginia $1.05 Billion #14 Connecticut $1.05 Billion #15 Tennessee $1.04 Billion U.S. Total $44 Billion

SOURCE American Health Care Association
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