Pullout from AHCA still 'on,' group says

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Even though the American Health Care Association elected three leaders from a rival organization to its newly created 15-member Board of Governors, a withdrawal from the AHCA is still "on," says a spokesman for the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

"The decisions of some companies to maintain their relationship with AHCA will not impact the Alliance's plans moving forward," said Alliance spokesman Jim Morrell. "The Alliance's plans haven't changed. The Alliance continues to move forward with the process of establishing itself as an independent organization."

Morrell said HCR Manor Care, the nation's largest nursing home chain, and Sun Healthcare Group, the 10th largest, remain among the staunchest supporters of a withdrawal from AHCA national affairs. In late summer, Morrell said a clear majority of members would be pulling away from AHCA to focus on a narrower legislative agenda.

The potentially ruinous rebellion was muted after AHCA accepted the resignation of short-time President and CEO Hal Daub in late summer and the association streamlined its governance structure.

AHCA named Norman Estes of NHS Management vice chair of its Board of Governors, the second-highest position. Edward Kuntz of Kindred Healthcare and Richard Pell of Genesis HealthCare were named members-at-large. All are Alliance members.