AHCA defends providers on eve of government hearings

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Lawmakers today will begin their intense analysis of nursing home quality and accountability - but the industry indicated it would not be sitting by idly.

The American Health Care Association said Wednesday it is trying to raise awareness of a new report in Florida that defends the industry's record. The report from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration concludes there is no evidence that nursing home quality suffers when it is owned by a private equity firm, according to AHCA.

"We want to ensure that facts drive the discussion - not incorrect assumptions and conclusions drawn without benefit of seeing this important official observation from the Florida agency charged with nursing home oversight," said Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of AHCA in a news statement.

This morning, Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) will lead a hearing on nursing home ownership and quality issues. Later today, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) will hold a hearing on the need for transparency and accountability in the industry. Both sessions are in response to a New York Times report that detailed how nursing homes recently purchased by private investors have reduced staffing while boosting profits.