Proposal to Change State Medicaid Provider Tax Provision, Bundling Pilot, Requires Further Analysis
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stressing the fact the nation's skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities are America's second largest health facility employer, and a key pillar of U.S. jobs growth and economic stability, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care today said it is essential any final FY 2012 budget preserves Medicare and Medicaid funding in a manner that helps grow local jobs, preserves seniors' care and nurtures the fragile U.S. economic recovery. While stressing the need to further analyze a proposed pilot "bundling" program, the Alliance expressed concern that changes in the way states utilize Medicaid provider taxes to help facilities employ more staff and sustain quality improvement programs are problematic.
"To grow more good health jobs, ensure U.S. seniors retain access to quality care, and to provide our nation's economy with a firm base upon which to keep building, it is essential for President Obama and the U.S. Congress to ensure Medicare and Medicaid funding adequacy is a central objective of a final FY 2012 budget," stated Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance. Rosenbloom noted the skilled nursing sector has recently absorbed nearly $30 billion in Medicare cuts over ten years by both budgetary and regulatory means.
Rosenbloom, an expert on the growing inter-dependence between Medicare and Medicaid funding, said that while stable Medicare funding for skilled nursing and rehabilitation care is already important when taken in isolation, it becomes particularly vital when considering state Medicaid volatility – with seniors in many states having already endured or soon facing substantial funding cuts as a result of recent state legislative actions. "Medicare and Medicaid funding are inextricably linked, and the combination of cumulative cuts to both programs has squeezed local facilities in a manner that is harmful to beneficiaries' care needs, our local economies, and the caregiver jobs base," the Alliance President said. "We will continue to analyze the President's proposed budget, and comment as warranted."
To spotlight the fact 1.7 million workers are employed in America's skilled nursing facilities – and that the sector generates over $200 billion in U.S. economic activity -- the Alliance will begin running print ads tomorrow in several DC health policy outlets detailing a new 50 state study available at www.aqnhc.org. The study, part of the Alliance's Care Context series of health policy analyses, is created with analytic support from Avalere Health, a non-partisan health advisory firm.
SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care