Alan Rosenbloom: A long, hard climb

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Alan Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
Alan Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
The long-term care field has been staring down some serious threats recently: a proposal that would slash millions from Medicare, a possible market-basket cut, and the end of the exceptions process for therapy caps.

Prepared to argue against each of these issues was Alan Rosenbloom, who is more than braced for the industry's challenges du jour.   

“It's been the case since 1997 that it has been an uphill struggle on payment and reimbursement, and I expect that to continue,” notes Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, which represents 16 major for-profit long-term care companies.  

Providers can take heart that they have a skilled advocate at the helm. A lawyer, Rosenbloom is known to approach long-term care's battles as he would a deposition: with fierceness, single-mindedness and conviction. 

“I would describe him as really aggressive and fair and focused, and an extremely hard worker for his position and his side of an issue,” comments David Feinberg, a partner with Feinberg Shopp Associates in Harrisburg, PA. 

Others who know Rosenbloom have described him as strategic, hard-driving and intense, as well as compassionate and thoughtful.

All good counselors should know both sides of an issue, and in Rosenbloom's case, it definitely holds true when it comes to the long-term care community. Before working on the for-profit side of the industry, he served as acting CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, which represents nonprofit facilities.

He joined the Pennsylvania Health Care Association after making what could be called a life move from Washington to Pennsylvania.

He says that in his experience, for-profits place a high priority on quality, despite what others might say.

“I think for-profits are unfairly portrayed as not being committed to quality and unfairly portrayed as being only for profit,” he says. 

While there is plenty to gripe about when it comes to issues of public perception and funding, Rosenbloom sees a bright spot for long-term care: the transformation of operations to providers of short-stay therapy. One of the Alliance's purposes is to explain this shift to policymakers, he notes.
“I think the biggest challenge long-term care faces is to demonstrate the shifting value proposition and its placement in the post-acute delivery system as opposed to its place in the chronic care delivery system,” he said. 

It was not a stretch for the former Law Review associate editor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School to consider work in public policy. He first got a taste of it at an antitrust firm during a summer in law school where a lot of work revolved around healthcare. He later developed an expertise in nursing homes and issues of payment and regulatory issues.

In 2006, he was appointed president of the Alliance when it carved out its own identity within the larger American Health Care Association. 

Rosenbloom's interest in policy actually can be traced to his childhood in Holyoke, PA. He recalls that, as a sixth grader, he wrote about activist Bobby Seale and the Chicago 8 trial. 

An only child, Rosenbloom's father owned a retail curtain business. His mother was trained as a nurse. Besides being good at school, he recalls playing sports in the neighborhood every free moment. 

Today, his activities are of a loftier sort – literally: He performs high-altitude trekking in far-flung places like Bhutan. He's planning to tackle the Everest region in the Himalayas in October. 

He also travels frequently with his family, which includes his wife, Debby Baron, and 15-year-old son, Jason.

An admirer of historical giants Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein, Rosenbloom said he hopes to be remembered in his own right for helping the long-term care field evolve.

 “I would like my legacy, to be that I played a significant role in the political maturation of the nursing home sector,” he says.