AHCA top executive Mark Parkinson (right) with predecessor Bruce Yarwood

The nation’s largest nursing home association has re-absorbed an aggressive sub-group of large nursing home operators to create an even stronger lobbying organization for long-term care providers.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care and the American Health Care Association jointly announced May 28 the powerhouse formation. Smooth integration was expected by July 1.

Only two of the large chains in the 10-member Alliance were not already AHCA members at the time. More than a dozen broke away from AHCA to form an independent lobbying arm in 2006.

“Faced with continued cuts and growing pressures on the systems that fund the care we provide, there was really only one choice — to band together to form one unified voice,” said AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson, who now oversees all operations. 

Alliance membership had dipped in recent years for various reasons, eroding separatists’ power base. AHCA also altered its leadership structure to make inclusion for the major chains more palatable, observers noted.