CNAs urge Congress to reconsider Medicare cuts

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Members of a national association of nursing home certified nurse aides called on Congress last week to reconsider cutting billions of dollars in Medicare payments to nursing homes.

Caregivers from across the country gathered at their annual National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) meeting Thursday. They discussed the potentially harmful effects of a proposed reduction in nursing home reimbursements through healthcare reform legislation, along with planned regulatory Medicare cuts scheduled to take effect Oct 1. Long-term care providers estimate that healthcare reform will reduce Medicare payments to nursing homes by about $32 billion over the next 10 years. A rule introduced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is estimated to take $12 billion away from nursing homes over the next decade.

CNAs, along with a family member of a Florida nursing home resident, said at a press conference the cuts would put more than 59,000 caregiver jobs at risk and threaten the quality of senior care nationwide. NAHCA represents more than 20,000 nursing home caregivers at roughly 500 facilities in 29 states.