Friday, June 29, 2012

Rep. Daniel Davis Honors Jacksonville Nursing Assistants

Representative Daniel Davis (R-13) recently joined members of the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) to honor three Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) working in Jacksonville-area nursing homes as winners of FHCA’s annual CNA Essay Contest. Rep. Davis honored Teresa Base, CNA with Southlake Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (pictured below), as the Grand Prize winner for the 2012 CNA Essay Contest. Other winners honored during the presentation included Second Place winner, Carolyn Thompson, CNA, Heartland of South Jacksonville; and Third Place winner Mary Juen, CNA, Life Care Center of Hilliard. Along with recognition, this year’s winner and runners up each received a cash prize.

The event took place at Riverwood Center, a 240-bed skilled nursing facility located at 2802 Parental Home Road in Jacksonville. Maya Perez, administrator of Riverwood Center, Connie O’ Donnell, FHCA District IX President, and Emmett Reed, FHCA Executive Director, hosted the event.

FHCA’s CNA Essay Contest asked Certified Nursing Assistants working in the Association’s member nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ALF) to submit up to 500 words about their personal experiences surrounding a designated theme. This year’s theme, “CNAs Talk About Managing Falls,” focused on the CNA’s role in preventing and responding to falls in nursing homes and ALFs, including their understanding of falls as a particular risk to their residents and the interventions they’ve learned in their caregiving career that may prevent falls.

“These CNAs are excellent examples of what successful long term care nursing assistants contribute to the high quality care delivered to the residents in our FHCA member facilities. We are proud to honor them for their dedication and commitment to the profession,” said FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed.

The annual CNA Essay Contest helps to raise awareness about the important role of Certified Nursing Assistants and their contributions to high quality care and quality of life for Florida’s more than 70,000 nursing home residents and patients. The winning entries were announced in conjunction with National Nursing Assistants Week, June 14 - 22, 2012. For more information about FHCA’s CNA Essay Contest, visit the Quality Improvement section of the FHCA website.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

FHCA Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Reform

The following is a statement from the Florida Health Care Association Executive Director J. Emmett Reed after today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the Affordable Care Act:

“Health care reform includes several components that affect long term and post-acute care providers. Skilled nursing facilities in Florida and across the country have been implementing the law and preparing for the provisions yet to come.

With the constitutional issues surrounding health reform now answered, we hope Congress will shift its attention to tackling the difficult challenge of how to care for a growing elderly population in an era of declining resources. In Florida, the shortfall in Medicaid funding for long term care needs reached $145 million and $6.3 billion nationally in 2011. Against a backdrop of rising health care costs, Florida long term care facilities have also suffered multiple rounds of Medicare cuts and reductions in the last few years. Florida Health Care Association supports initiatives that create incentives for quality care and help contain health care costs. We look forward to working with Governor Scott and the Legislature to address these critical issues that ensure access to skilled nursing and assisted living care for our state’s seniors.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Member facility tours essential to FHCA's grassroots advocacy

FHCA members continued hosting facility tours this week with legislators and legislative candidates. These meetings are essential to the Association's grassroots advocacy, creating many opportunities for candid conversation about our long term care challenges.

On Wednesday, Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center of Tampa hosted Rep. Janet Cruz (D), candidate for House District 62 (pictured below). Administrator Jeff Nusbaum conducted a productive facility tour, during which the Representative visited with residents and staff and learned more about the important link between adequate funding and high-quality care.

Today, Rep. Doc Renuart (R), candidate for House District 17, visited St. Augustine Health & Rehabilitation Center. Administrator Daniel Crumb led the facility tour and provided an informative overview of the care they deliver and the many jobs they contribute to St. Augustine's area economy.

Also this week, Sen. Nan Rich (D-34) visited Plantation Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Administrator Neil Sutton provided an extensive tour of both their geriatric and pediatric units to help her understand the complexities of and unique settings for providing care to adults, as well as children.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Take Action: Contact Congress to Protect Medicaid Funding for Nursing Facility Care

Once again, Congress is looking at skilled nursing care cuts to finance provisions in other areas of the budget. In an effort to “solve” the student loan crisis, Congress wants to reduce the Medicaid provider assessment threshold from 6 to 5.5 percent and apply the savings to subsidize the Stafford loan interest rates. Provider assessments are a key tool for states, including Florida, as they attempt to recover from budget crises and make up for the continuous underfunding of Medicaid. If this provision passes, Florida's skilled nursing facilities would see a $867 million cut to Medicaid funding over the next 10 years. Facilities are already struggling under previous reductions as a result of a productivity adjustment to pay for health care reform; then another two percent through sequestration; followed immediately by reducing bad debt to pay for the doc fix.

Please take action today, as Congress may move legislation containing this proposal as early as next week. Help us send an important message to Congress that the proposed reduction would cause more harm than good, as high-quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities, as well as the jobs of their dedicated caregivers, would be put at risk. Click here to enter your zip code and send an e-mail to your Member of Congress today.