headshot - AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson

Providers came away from early spring meetings with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and other federal health officials feeling encouraged about the government’s slate of reform proposals.

Leaders from the American Health Care Association and LeadingAge, and some of their nursing home provider-members, each joined Brooks-LaSure on separate teleconference sessions in late March and early April. They urged federal officials to account for ongoing labor woes as they pursue a new staffing minimum and asked them to reconsider the use of higher penalties to drive outcomes.

“We’re very encouraged,” AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson said after his group’s meeting. LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said providers were key to the conversations because “they’re living the reality of the situation we’re in right now.”

In addition to the CMS meetings, Parkinson, Sloan, Lori Porter of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, and four consumer and worker groups also met with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on March 30.