Florida Long Term Care Leaders Hold News Teleconference Today to Call on Florida Congressional Delegation to Rescind $205 Million in Medicare Cuts To Florida's Oldest, Most Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents

Saturday, August 18, 2007 General News
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CONTACT: Rebecca Reid, +1-410-212-3843, reidconsulting@comcast.net, forthe American Health Care Association.National, State Long Term Care Leaders Ask Fl Congressional Lawmakers to Appeal to House Leadership to Remove Cuts - Florida
Seniors Take Highest Medicare Cut Hit on National Basis - WHAT: With Members of Congress home in Florida over the August recess, national and state long term care leaders are urging key lawmakers to help derail a proposed five-year,
$205 million Medicare cut to the state's oldest, most vulnerable nursing home residents -- a cut specific to Florida, representing the highest funding reduction in any state on a national basis. Immediately prior to congressional adjournment, in a misguided effort to pay for the expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP Act), ostensibly to protect children as well as "America's Greatest Generation." The U.S. Senate passed a similar bill to help finance CHIP expansion, but it wisely avoided cuttings seniors' Medicare funding to accomplish this worthy policy objective. In fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds the House bill will cut Medicare Part A benefits by a total of $2.7 billion over five years -- with beneficiaries and providers in Florida, New York, California, Texas and Ohio suffering 33.1% of the total Medicare Part A cuts ($895 million) over five years. The sequential level of state-specific cuts over five years are as follows: Florida -- $205 Million; New York -- $184 Million; California -- $183 Million; Texas -- $168 Million; Ohio --$155 Million; Illinois -- $147 Million; Pennsylvania -- $140 Million; New Jersey -- $102 Million; Michigan -- $101 Million; Indiana -- $88 Million. As the House and Senate bills will soon go to Conference in order to negotiate a final bill, national and state long term care advocates are urging Florida lawmakers to stand up for their oldest, most vulnerable constituents by calling on the House leadership to cancel the Medicare cuts as a means of financing CHIP. In addition to undermining ongoing nursing home quality improvement efforts in Florida and nationwide, the proposed impair efforts to modernize and refurbish aging facilities and equipment, and acquire and implement new technologies to accommodate advances in medical practices. WHO: Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association -- the nation's largest organization of long term care providers -- will provide the Capitol Hill perspective and discuss in a national context how the Medicare cuts would severely damage the nation's long term care infrastructure just as baby boomers begin entering retirement in ever larger numbers. William Phelan, Executive Director of the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), will speak to the state impact of slashing $205 million in Medicare funding. Kelley Rice-Schild, Facility Administrator of the Floridean Nursing Home in Miami, FL and past president of the FHCA, will discuss the potential impact the proposed Medicare cuts could have on staffing issues and the quality of care currently provided to skilled nursing residents. WHEN: AUGUST 16, 2007 -- 11:00 AM EDT **To participate in the teleconference, please dial (800) 762-4758 and ask for the Long

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