Mr. President: Don’t Forget The Link Between Medicare and Medicaid

Coinciding with President Obama’s State of the Union Address, two key health leaders reinforced the fact that adequate federal Medicare funding in the face of a historic and ongoing state Medicaid funding crisis is crucial for long term and post-acute care providers, the nation’s second largest health care employers.

“Stable, adequate Medicaid and Medicare funding are the twin pillars upon which quality seniors’ care and a strong U.S. jobs and economic base rest — and we are ready, willing and able to work with Congress and the President to do our part in helping revitalize America’s economy,” stated Governor Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), and Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

The two leaders reiterated that the central objective of all long term and post-acute care facilities is to continue the positive trend of moving more residents and patients back to the community as quickly as possible. In addition, the AHCA/NCAL and Alliance leaders said, “Mr. President, we look forward to working with you and Congress to pass health policies that build upon existing efforts to maximize patient choice, enhance the cost-efficiency of care delivery, and improve patient care quality.”

Long term care providers were paid $7.17 per hour last year in Medicaid funding according to a new analysis – which is less than the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Due to the fact that federal Medicare funding is essential to supplement unstable state Medicaid systems and inherent shortfalls, any potential cuts to Medicare in FY2012, they noted, would have significant, adverse implications on quality care for seniors, workers’ jobs, and national economic stability.

SOURCE American Health Care Association

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