Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Put Seniors at Risk

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News
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SALISBURY, Md., Aug. 20 The Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM) today brought together U.S. Representative Frank Kratovil (MD-1) and residents, workers and leaders from the Salisbury Rehabilitation and Nursing Center to personalize the pending effects of a proposed $32 billion federal cut to Medicare.

"Congressman Kratovil understands the needs of Maryland seniors and we applaud his leadership to work to reduce the amount of cuts as much as possible to protect the quality of care," said Joseph DeMattos, Jr., president of HFAM. "The Congressman also understands how important Medicare and Medicaid are to the long-term care and rehabilitation of our seniors. The proposed cuts being debated in Congress, along with administrative cuts to Medicare and recent state budget cuts truly create a perfect storm putting our seniors at risk."

In Congressman Kratovil's district alone, proposed federal cuts totaling $44 billion over 10 years nationally will result in a $140.6 million reduction for care of seniors in skilled nursing facilities. These cuts will reduce business activity by more than $10 million and labor income by $5.3 million -- putting 147 jobs at risk.

"I'd like to thank the Health Facilities Association of Maryland for allowing me to tour their facilities and get a first hand view of the great work they do on behalf of local senior citizens," said Congressman Kratovil. "My conversations with the residents, staff and administration of the Salisbury Rehab and Nursing Center give me an opportunity to move beyond the rhetoric and see firsthand those who will be affected by healthcare reform and help inform my votes when the legislation reaches the floor."

"Everyone here sincerely appreciates Congressman Kratovil's effort to visit with the people we serve, our staff team and our volunteers," said Bob Lanza, executive administrator Salisbury Rehab and Nursing Center, Genesis Healthcare. "These deep cuts being discussed along with other imposed federal and state cuts will eliminate jobs and put seniors at risk."

Salisbury Rehab and Nursing Center is part of the Genesis Healthcare Family. It is home to 288 long and short term rehabilitation residents and patients, and boasts a staff of 375 employees. Genesis Healthcare offers a variety of services in more than 200 centers across 13 eastern states. In addition to short stay and long term care services, Genesis Healthcare offers specialized Alzheimer's care, orthopedic rehabilitation, ventilator care, dialysis care and assisted living services. Genesis Healthcare is Maryland's largest provider of long-term care.

The Health Facilities Association of Maryland is a voluntary provider community association, chartered in 1948 as the Maryland Nursing Home Association. It is the oldest and largest long-term care association representing skilled nursing, sub-acute facilities, assisted living programs and continuing care retirement communities in Maryland. HFAM has 150 member organizations, including non-profits, serving over 19,000 Maryland consumers in need of long-term care. HFAM member organizations employ more than 18,000 people in Maryland.

SOURCE The Health Facilities Association of Maryland

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