As New October 1 Federal Regulation Now in Effect Reduces OH Medicare Funds by $275.1 Million for 2012, Website Launched to Upda

As Ohio Absorbs 6th Largest Medicare Funding Reduction Nationally, Concern About State SNF Job Losses Mount; Website Shows Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus in Top 50 U.S. Metro Areas in Terms of SNF Jobs

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a new federal regulation having gone into effect over the weekend that reduces Medicare funding for Ohio's skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) by $275.1 million in fiscal year 2012 (the sixth highest funding reduction nationally), key national and state long term and post-acute care leaders reiterated their concern about the escalating economic instability facing Ohio's SNFs, the state's second largest health facility employer after hospitals. A new website detailing the economic impact of SNFs in Ohio was launched today.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care -- a coalition of twelve leading post-acute and long term care organizations providing skilled nursing care in approximately 1,400 facilities in 44 states nationwide, including Ohio, today also launched a new website to both detail the significant jobs and economic activity associated with Ohio SNFs, and to comment when warranted on layoffs, job losses and other staffing matters as accumulating Medicare and Medicaid funding reductions take their toll.

An Avalere Health analysis associated with the website details the annual economic and jobs output of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in the nation's 50 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and finds Ohio currently has three in the top 50: Cleveland/Elyria/Mentor at #12, Cincinnati/Middletown at #13, and Columbus at #24. Total impact of SNFs on local job creation is 31,588 in Cleveland metro; 25,452 for Cincinnati metro; and 17,626 for Columbus metro.

Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance, which financed the website and the Avalere Health research, said: "We are becoming increasingly worried about the rising level of economic instability occurring in facilities throughout Ohio and plan to detail how that manifests itself in terms of job losses and patient care. Additional Medicare cuts proposed in September by the Administration -- on top of the new CMS regulation that went into effect October 1st, and on top of Ohio state Medicaid cuts -- will significantly contribute to further destabilizing a major employer throughout rural, suburban and urban Ohio."

Peter Van Runkle, Executive Director of the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA), said he fears the cumulative impact of federal and state funding reductions on Ohio's SNFs will be job losses, staffing instability and the subsequent negative impact on patient care: "We are already beginning to see SNF job losses occurring within Ohio and I am deeply concerned this foreshadows far higher losses and instability in the weeks and months ahead as Washington continues to pursue more federal spending cuts on top of others already taking hold."

The OHCA is currently conducting a member survey to help assess the extent of job losses, layoffs and other negative variables that affect the ongoing provision of quality patient care.

SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care