Thursday, October 27, 2011

On the Road Again

AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Governor Mark Parkinson is on the road again, speaking at a myriad of state affiliate conferences and conventions about the ability of skilled nursing and assisted living to be at the forefront of the health care sector. Just in the month of October, Parkinson has been to Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Alabama, New Jersey and Florida.

Still in his first year as President & CEO, these visits not only allow Parkinson to speak about his vision for the association and the profession, but meet with state affiliate leaders, members and partnering businesses. It gives him to the opportunity to learn firsthand how our sector is currently grappling with the sluggish economy and rounds of reductions from federal and state governments.
Governor Parkinson with SDHCA Executive Director Mark Deak

"Hands Off"

Check out this ad from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. It features a wide range of Americans worried about cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid by Congress.

AHCA also has an informational campaign to educate Members of Congress and the public about the dangers further cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would have on access to skilled nursing care. Learn more and find out how to take action at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

AHCA Attends New Hampshire Presidential Debate

Pre-Debate look at the Bloomberg/Washington Post
Debate Stage (October 11, 2011

As the race to White House continues, AHCA is in the front seat following the candidates, the political conversations, and the changing future of the long term care profession. Last night, AHCA was on scene at the New Hampshire Presidential Primary debate in Hanover, NH. AHCA and the New Hampshire Health Care Association (NHHCA) were the lead local media sponsors of WBIN, the regional television station that aired the debate throughout the New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts regions—regions that are ripe with political action, independent thinkers, and voters who are concerned about the future of long term care in this country.

New Hampshire Health Care Association President &
CEO John Poirier in the Post-Debate Media Spin Room
Prior to last night’s debate, NHHCA President John Poirier last week posed difficult questions to the candidates through interviews with the media, urging the candidates to consider how they would address issues such as Medicare and Medicaid funding, the onslaught of baby boomers who are aged 65 and older and their multiplying health needs, and the protection of the jobs and economic boost that the long term care sector provides.  AHCA submitted several questions to the debate moderators for consideration that focused primarily on those matters closest to the core of the long term care profession.  

On the topics of Medicare and Medicaid, Governor Perry stated last night that he supports a Medicaid block grant program—a program that AHCA has always found inadequate to fully serve the people dependent upon Medicaid for care. Proposals that convert the Medicaid entitlement into a block grant tend to eliminate the current formula under which states receive federal dollars based on a set percentage of incurred costs. Instead, block grants provide a fixed dollar amount each year that is based on an arbitrary baseline, which does not take need into account.

AHCA will continue to fight on the behalf of its members and those frail, elderly, and disabled individuals who rely on the programs for continued health care.  Every eight minutes, an American turns 65. And as these individuals age, more than 1.5 million turn to Medicare and Medicaid for care every single day—and these people need not only to be heard, but to be continually involved in the political conversations that determine the future of their access to quality health care.

Former Senator Rick Santorum in the
post-debate media spin room 
The majority of last night’s debate was focused on jobs and the economy, a topic that will continue to be of particular concern to AHCA, as the long term care industry is the nation’s 10th largest employer and contributes 3.1 million American jobs. In 2010, as the nation continued to slide into unemployment frustration and a dreary economic forecast, the long term care industry provided 63,000 new jobs—jobs that helped Americans provide for their families, continue to support their communities, and secure their health care today and for the future. As candidates continue to consider jobs plans and a strategy for economic gains and a full recovery, AHCA will continue to promote the position of this sector as a lynchpin of a successful plan. A secure economy requires industries and professions that are secure, that provide successful, fulfilling jobs to Americans, and that are investing in future growth. 

As the race to the presidency progresses, AHCA will continue to provide its members and the long term care community the facts they need to know about the issues that mean the most.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Rehab" Highlights Post-Acute Care

AHCA today launched the latest television spot in its nationwide informational ad campaign, “Care Not Cuts.”

The second ad, "Rehab," features a senior who, after being in the hospital, received his post-acute care from a nursing home and then returned home.

The Care, Not Cuts informational campaign will continue 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. This second flight will also include radio, online and Metro transit ad placements throughout the Beltway.

To learn how you can take action against possible cuts to nursing and assisted living facilities, visit

Squeezing Medicare = Squeezing Access

By Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
In yesterday's USA Today, reporter Richard Wolf offered five possible areas the federal government could look to in order to “squeeze Medicare” and address the rising costs of the program. But as Wolf points out, Medicare continues to be considered “one of the most popular programs ever devised by the federal government,” and faces a tough battle in undergoing substantive changes through Congress.