Congress should implement initiatives to increase nursing supply, AHCA says

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Nursing home advocates are using yet another angle to complain about the administration's proposed budget cuts: A tight labor supply would only get worse, they say. President Bush has recommended cutting $10 billion of intended Medicare funding for nursing homes over the next five years.

"America's long-term care system is suffering from a chronic supply and demand problem when it comes to our labor force - and addressing this challenge on both fronts is the only real solution to ameliorating the significant difficulties we face in continuing the quality improvement initiatives we are all so proud of," said Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

The organizations asked the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee to consider several initiatives to bolster the long-term care workforce. These include: creating working partnerships between long-term care organizations and other entities; and developing ongoing funding from the state and local workforce investment boards to support initiatives to improve recruitment and retention.