Long Term Care Advocates Gather on Capitol Hill

PictureVetter Health Services Operations Coordinator Shari Terry, (second from right in photo) recently returned from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC. More than 400 long term and post-acute care professionals from across the country met with Members of Congress to talk about significant gains in quality of care, observations stays and other priorities for the skilled nursing sector. The meetings are part of the annual Congressional Briefing hosted by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

“Our members are on Capitol Hill to ensure that seniors and individuals with disabilities continue to have access to the quality care they deserve,” said AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson. “It is important for Congress to work toward policies that will support our efforts to continue improving quality of care while also containing health care costs.”

AHCA/NCAL members discussed several topics of importance to long term and post-acute care providers, including:

  • the profession’s proactive efforts to improve the quality of care provided in centers and communities;
  • counting observation stays in the hospital towards Medicare’s required three-day stay in order to cover skilled nursing care following a hospital stay;
  • thin operating margins for providers across the country;
  • repealing the cap on Medicare Part B therapy services for thousands of seniors; and
  • encouraging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to strengthen its oversight of Medicare Advantage Plans.

The profession also will continue to focus on providing cost and quality solutions that can help policymakers address important issues such as the doc fix and the federal budget.

“We have proven our ability to propose viable solutions addressing the complex problems facing the aging population of our nation,” said AHCA Board Chair Len Russ. “Our strong presence in Washington this week will help us demonstrate our shared focus and energy on the priorities for our profession.”

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental 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.

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