Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Expertise of Long Term Care Professionals Goes to Congress at Annual (AHCA/NCAL) Congressional Briefing

More than 400 health care leaders, professionals and direct care providers gathered in Washington for the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) Congressional Briefing. After rounds of government reductions, these representatives carried the message of protecting access to quality care on behalf of the 1.5 million individuals cared for in America’s skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

In tandem with all of the effective member conversations held with lawmakers, The Hill, a daily congressional newspaper, featured a full page ad reflecting AHCA’s stance against cutting Medicaid. The ad hit readers with a bright red street sign with the appropriate message to Congress that such cuts were: “Wrong Way.” The ad echoed Parkinson’s comment to the gathering Monday that “It’s ridiculous for Congress to consider cutting us.” The National Journal additionally featured Governor Parkinson and AHCA’s role as advocates on Tuesday.

In addition to hearing from AHCA Chair Neil Pruitt, Jr., NCAL Chair Mike Shepard, and NCAL President Dave Kyllo, this year's attendees heard from a variety of Washington leaders. Monday's keynote speaker, Ronald Brownstein, Atlantic Media's political director, shared his insights into the upcoming election cycle as it pertains to health care. Prior to heading to the Hill on Tuesday morning, several legislative leaders addressed the advocates (pictured below): Congressmen Bill Cassidy (R, LA-6) and Tom Latham (R, IA-4) and Congresswomen Kathy Castor (D, FL-11) and Nan Hayworth (R, NY-19).

Representative Bill Cassidy summed up the importance of the Briefing, "If we as providers don't bring our expertise [to ‪Congress] then it's up to only political solutions"

Representative Tom Latham: “Long term care is a vital part of healthcare that Americans depend upon and expect.” He went on to address observation stays, “Outpatient status can prevent a patient from qualifying for Medicare and I don't believe such a loophole was meant to exist.”

Representative Kathy Castor: “Quality suffers if we continue to cut the resources available to long term care facilities as 77 million will retire. The elephant in the room is the threat of these severe ‪Medicaid cuts.”

Representative Nan Hayworth: “This is one of the hardest jobs in the world to do and I'm eager to work with you to amplify your voice.”

Thanks to all the attendees and members, 2012’s Congressional Briefing was a tremendous success. We look forward to seeing you in 2013 and hope to have an even stronger presence next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment