Nursing homes tout quality improvement, blast sequester


On a conference call with reporters, he said the industry reaches a "tipping point, where it becomes impossible" to make improvements as budgets shrink.

"We're very pleased with the progress the sector has made," Parkinson said. "We're just hopefully that Congress and the president will be very deliberate in the decision they make with regard to our funding."

The Obama administration estimates that the sequester would slash $11 billion from Medicare as a result of an across-the-board 2 percent provider cut. Also known as sequestration, the looming budget ax is meant to force a deal on long-term deficit reduction and is part of the fiscal cliff.

Nursing homes are one of many health sectors lobbying Congress to preserve their funding in a final deal. Hospitals and doctors also joined the fray in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the AHCA said its members have made progress in four key areas — reducing hospital readmissions, reducing staff turnover, customer satisfaction and the use of anti-psychotics for patients.

The sector's focused has shifted from long-term care to short-term rehabilitation, leaders said.

"All in all, this is a report that indicates steady improvement," Parkinson said.