Oct. 1, 2002 --
ADAPT, the national grassroots disability rights group, will be in New Orleans October 5-10 to demonstrating against the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the nursing home lobby, on "its continued opposition to 'Community First' for Americans with disabilities, young and old."
Federal Medicaid policy mandates that states provide long-term care services in nursing homes and state institutions, but doesn't mandate that states also provide community-based long term care services, says ADAPT. As a result of this "institutional bias," it says, older and disabled Americans are forced into institutional settings, and "are thus deprived of the choice to remain in their own homes, receiving needed services there, services which are usually much less expensive in the community."
Still, ACHA has been feverishly lobbying for more money. "The nation's nursing home operators are feverishly warning of disaster ... if the federal government doesn't extend billions in payments" set to expire today, says a story in yesterday's U.S. News & World Report, whose own investigation uncovers some of the "financial legerdemain that goes on behind the scenes" in the nursing home industry. Read "The New Math of Old Age: Why the nursing home industry's cries of poverty don't add up," online at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/articles/020930/30homes.htm
According to a recently released report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO-02-431R) there is no correlation between nursing home funding and improved quality of care. (Find this report at http://www.gao.gov/daybook/020715.htm).
The HHS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that between 1989 and 2001, payments to nursing homes increased by 625 percent, or $35.9 billion dollars, while the number of people in nursing homes increased only incrementally. During the same period, CMS reports that community-based services, which operate at roughly a quarter of the nursing home budget, have gone up by only $18.9 billion dollars -- while serving approximately 500,000 more people. Visit the CMS website at http://cms.hhs.gov/states/
ADAPT plans to challenge ACHA to support MiCASSA, the bipartisan bill in Congress (S.1298 and HR 3612) which reforms federal Medicaid policy to allow all Americans in need of long term care services to choose to receive those services in their own homes.
Read more on MiCASSA at http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/persasst/micassa01.htm
Follow ADAPT's actions in New Orleans and see photos from past adapt national actions at
Note: ADAPT had to cancel its New Orleans action due to bad weather.