Association testifies against President's budget cuts

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The White House's "sudden shift" toward an "abrupt" end to intergovernmental transfers (IGTs) could have a crushing impact on long-term care providers around the country, the head of a major nursing home association told a House Energy and Commerce Health panel.

The potential budget reductions are "neither wise, advisable or good public policy," said Charles Roadman II, the president and CEO of the American Health Care Association. The Bush administration has been aggressively pursuing the curtailment of IGTs, which states have used to prop up the Medicaid system.
 
A third annual study of Medicaid reimbursement rates for skilled nursing providers recently showed that reimbursements are an average of $11.55 per day less than the cost of care, according to the AHCA.
 
"A fair and reasonable transition period is one thing; rapid termination of states' ability to care for their most vulnerable is quite another," Roadman said to House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman
Mike Bilirakis (R-FL).
 
Roadman rebutted assertions that IGT funds do not go back to direct patient care with examples from several states that showed otherwise. The National Governors' Association, and various officials from both major political parties have also sounded the outcry against the proposed cutbacks in IGTs.