Alliance: We're still splitting from AHCA

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"The vast majority" of members of the Alliance for Quality Long Term Care are still planning to withdraw from the American Health Care Association, an alliance spokesman said Tuesday. A pullout of many of the 15 long-term care companies in the alliance could play havoc with AHCA's leadership and financial structures.

There had been speculation that the alliance's withdrawal might be averted after the AHCA announced Monday that it was replacing President and CEO Hal Daub with Bruce Yarwood, the organization's lead legislative counsel in Washington.

"It really does not affect plans," alliance spokesman Jim Morrell said. "The alliance expects to continue moving forward with the establishment of their own organization. Each company is formulating its own decisions, but the vast majority of companies will leave."

Morrell said "dialogue is ongoing" between Alliance and AHCA leaders to ensure a smooth withdrawal, although no firm timeline for specific events has been established. He said that HCR Manor Care, Sun Healthcare Group, Kindred Healthcare, Advocat Inc. and Tandem Health Care are among the major provider chains that already have declared they will take part in the separation.

Alliance officials have said that those who withdraw will likely withhold national AHCA dues but still will take part at the state level. The Alliance will concentrate solely on skilled-nursing policy and quality issues, according to its top executive.