Long Term Care Advocates Gather on Capitol Hill

Esq. Stephen B. Hanse in Legislative

Skilled nursing and assisted living professionals discuss legislative priorities and quality improvements with members of Congress

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today gathered more than 450 long term and post-acute care professionals at its annual Congressional Briefing event to take the profession’s legislative priorities to Capitol Hill.

“Our members are on Capitol Hill today 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 take into account the pragmatic policy proposals we offer as a profession committed to improving lives, delivering solutions and providing quality care.”

AHCA/NCAL members will share their professional experiences and discuss several topics of importance to long term and post-acute care providers, including:

  • significant strides in the quality of care provided in skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities;
  • opposition to cuts to Medicaid, the primary payer of long term services and supports for older Americans and individuals with disabilities;
  • the skyrocketing use of civil monetary procedures with little to no oversight; and
  • necessary revisions to the SNF Requirement of Participation rule, which inappropriately prioritizes paperwork over patients.

Attendees will also discuss and review other significant issues, including access to home and community-based services, specific quality gains and Medicaid’s impact on local economies.

“There are skilled nursing centers and assisted living centers in every Congressional district, our employees and our residents are constituents, and we are the health care policy voices that Members of Congress need to hear from,” said AHCA Board Chair Tom Coble. “There are pressing issues before Congress and the Administration that affect millions of patients, residents and families and we will advocate on their behalf as one unified voice.”

To bring home a key message for long term care providers—the importance of protecting Medicaid—the association released a video highlighting beneficiaries of the program. Husband and wife Chuck and Cathy Schwarz are assisted living residents of Heritage Woods of South Elgin in Illinois. Cathy suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and lives in the community’s secure memory care unit, and the Medicaid program allows the two to receive the assisted living care they need while still being able to see each other every day. Advocates are encouraged to show the video to their members of Congress to emphasize the impact cuts to Medicaid might have on the elderly population.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACT:

Stephen B. Hanse, Esq.
President & CEO
518-462-4800 x11