By Julian Pecquet - 01/24/12 02:34 PM EST
The nursing-home industry is piggy-backing off the president's State of the Union speech to draw attention to the state of long-term and post-acute care in the United States.
The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living released their annual report this week looking at innovations in the industry and warning against harmful cuts in federal reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid. The group enables thousands of member facilities to share the priorities they feel the president should address via Twitter and Facebook.
Medicare cut its rates for skilled nursing home facilities by 11.1 percent last year, the group says, while a recent report found that the national Medicaid shortfall for skilled nursing care added up to $6.3 billion in 2011 — almost $20 per patient per day.
"Our profession has made great strides, yet we are struggling to meet growing demand in the light of diminishing federal and state funding," said former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson (D), now president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. "We have improved in quality. Many of our facilities are hiring doctors and reducing hospital readmissions. We have improved in delivering a variety of healthcare options for seniors. That significant progress could all be put at risk if policymakers continue to avoid serious discussions centering on how we are reimbursed.