Monday, August 29, 2011

New Ad Campaign Urges “Care Not Cuts”

Long term, post-acute care sector launches fall media effort to help preserve, protect, defend seniors’ access to quality skilled nursing and rehabilitative care in Florida

The long term and post-acute care profession is uniting to launch a nationwide informational campaign, “Care Not Cuts,” and is running its first ad in the state of Florida beginning today. As Congress begins to examine ways to reduce the federal deficit, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (Alliance) have partnered with the state affiliate, the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), to ensure federal lawmakers understand the vital need to preserve, protect and defend U.S. seniors’ access to quality skilled nursing and rehabilitative care.

“Already coping with billions of dollars in reductions from health care reform, federal regulations and a State Medicaid crisis, our facilities are feeling the impact,” said Emmett Reed, Executive Director of FHCA. “This campaign raises awareness among Florida’s Congressional delegation that we cannot sustain any more cuts, and who better to deliver this message than the dedicated caregivers who serve our seniors every single day?”

Beginning today and continuing through September 6, the first TV spot of the multi-month campaign, “Nurses,” features frontline caregivers. The text of the spot is as follows:

I work as a rehabilitation nurse. I love what I do.

In the last five years, nursing homes have absorbed billions in Medicare and Medicaid cuts.
Even so, we’ve maintained high quality care.

Now, there’s talk of more, deeper cuts. I understand the need for sacrifice.

We’ve given our fair share, and more.

But as a nurse who cares for her patients, I can tell you another round of deep cuts that target nursing homes simply goes too far.

In Florida, other caregivers are sharing similar concerns about the impact additional cuts would have on the residents they care for each day.

“Working in a nursing home is not just a job; it’s a calling,” said Lisa McFall, RN, of Palm Garden in Orlando. “It’s so rewarding to interact with my residents and make certain I’m helping them enjoy a good quality of life every day. However, I am deeply concerned that additional cuts to nursing homes may make it difficult for me to do this job that I love. These residents become like family, and I want to help protect and care for them.”

Reed said the informational campaign will proceed throughout the remainder of 2011 to draw attention to the fact local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are a critical part of the health care continuum, offering high-quality patient care and rehabilitation in a cost-effective manner. Long term and post-acute care facilities serve as a cornerstone of local communities’ employment base – reliably providing more than 178,000 jobs in Florida.

To view “Nurses,” please visit

Monday, August 1, 2011

CMS Issues Final Rule on Medicare Payments to Skilled Nursing Facilities

Federal Agency Drastically Reduces Skilled Nursing Facility Payments

J. Emmett Reed, Executive Director of Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), issued the following statement in response to the release of the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System final rule for FY 2012 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):
“In its Final Rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will cause long term care facilities to see a significant reduction in Medicare funding for skilled nursing care of nearly $4 billion beginning October 1, 2011. Facilities in Florida are already experiencing a drastic $187.5 million cut to state Medicaid funding that went into effect July 1. The CMS reductions will threaten our facilities’ ability to continue delivering quality care to Florida’s seniors and puts thousands of long term care jobs at risk, particularly since Medicare funding helps to prop up Medicaid, which has historically underfunded nursing home care. FHCA will continue advocating on behalf of Florida’s long term care facilities in hopes that lawmakers at the state and federal level will see the importance of preserving much-needed funding so seniors can have access to quality long term care both today and in the future.”