WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the twelve states that have been the focus of the heaviest cumulative paid media spending in the 2012 presidential campaign, U.S seniors' skilled nursing facility (SNF) Medicare funding will be cut $251.7 million on January 1, 2013 due to the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act, prompting the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC) to say it will continue to spotlight current and future Medicare cuts in states that will make a key difference in this fall's federal races.
"At both political conventions and in a variety of congressional races, issues related to nursing home funding have been part of a vigorous health policy discussion, and reflects the growing importance of replacing what amounts to a 'cut now, ask questions later' governmental funding policy with bigger-picture, systemic reforms," said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care. "We will continue to focus state-level attention on cuts to seniors' Medicare-funded nursing home care that will go into effect less than four months from now, and detail why enacting delivery reforms that reduce costs, improve efficiency and optimize care quality are mandatory, not optional."
States with the highest sequester-generated SNF Medicare cuts (in millions) that are also the focus of the heaviest cumulative presidential campaign media spending throughout 2012 (including third parties) are: FL $66.0 million cut; OH $37.3 million cut; PA $36.9 million cut; MI $30.2 million cut; NC $22.5 million cut; VA $18.0 million cut; WI $14.9 million cut; CO $7.9 million cut; IA $6.6 million cut; NH $4.4 million cut; NV $4.3 million cut; NM $2.7 million cut. (Source: Avalere Health). A recent Avalere analysis (available at www.aqnhc.org) found the U.S. nursing home sector and patients under their care face $65 billion in cumulative Medicare funding reductions over ten years as a result of several different budgetary actions and regulatory changes made since 2009.
With Congress back in session, Rosenbloom also expressed concern about continued discussions surrounding major structural changes to Medicaid financing that may result in less federal support at a time when 40 states either cut or froze SNF Medicaid payment rates from FY 2009-11. "Medicare and Medicaid populations overlap in the SNF setting, and facilities budget their shrinking resources based on revenues from both key programs," the Alliance leader observed.
"There has, and always will be, an immutable correlation between cumulative funding adequacy, workforce stability and nursing home care quality," continued Rosenbloom. "It is quite clear we as a nation have reached a health policy tipping point in terms of our ability to adequately fund today's patients, and the millions more who will eventually require the type of rehabilitative care only a skilled nursing facility can provide."
Contact: Rebecca Reid
SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care