Monday, June 10, 2013

Congressional Briefing Promotes “We are the Solution”

AHCA/NCAL members arrived in Washington, DC, last week for Congressional Briefing, an annual two-day event designed to encourage members to join forces and storm Capitol Hill with a cohesive message for their state representatives. 
AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson asserted that, “In a town of dysfunction, we are the solution.” In his opening remarks, Parkinson encouraged members to rise above partisan divides and recognize the unique power that skilled nursing care centers and assisted living communities together hold. He outlined how SNFs are saving the government money by providing much lower CMS Medicare payments on average, as compared to other care settings.

Since 2009, AHCA/NCAL members have enjoyed a 23% increase in 5 Star Ratings from the CMS Five-Star Rating System, proving that quality care is one of the association’s top priorities. Parkinson also highlighted that nursing and residential care facilities are currently regarded as the tenth largest employer in the country. Government cuts, however minor, will therefore not only negatively impact thousands of LTC residents, but employees as well.

How could members most effectively reach their audiences on the Hill? Keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and investigative reporter Bob Woodward offered simple yet insightful advice: “It’s hard to dislike someone who says they like you,” he said. 
Woodward encouraged members to view their representatives as resources rather than obstacles, fitting to the age-old adage “You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.”
In her speech, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) echoed both Parkinson and Woodward’s remarks and declared that “Through collaboration and cooperation we can get this job done.”

See below some photos of AHCA/NCAL member visits on Capitol Hill from Monday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 4:



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