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Help Needed Now to Preserve Medically Necessary Care for Patients at Hospital-based Skilled Nursing Facilities


05.29.2013

An urgent call to action is going out to all health care providers, patients and community leaders to write, call and e-mail their legislators to pass AB 900 (Alejo), which will stop pending Medi-Cal cuts that jeopardize the health and safety of elderly and disabled people in our community who depend on hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities for specialized care.

In northern San Diego County, Villa Pomerado in Poway and Palomar Continuing Care Center (PCCC) in Escondido provide these valuable services to our most vulnerable patients and face cuts of up to 37 percent.

Patients with serious physical and behavioral conditions depend on hospital-based skilled nursing facilities for long-term care or for rehabilitative therapy following hospitalization so they can return home as quickly as possible. If the funding cuts are not stopped, many medically needy patients will go without care because other providers will be unable or unwilling to support the high level of complex care necessary to treat them.

 The Medi-Cal cuts could affect everyone in the Palomar Health district service area,as hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities help ensure that acute hospital services are available for other patients who need them. Reductions in services or elimination of hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities altogether mean more elderly and disabled patients will stay in acute care hospital beds for extended periods of time, meaning that those beds are not available to the public.

AB 900 will eliminate the cuts and restore necessary funding to these skilled-nursing facilities, which already are reeling from continued losses due to insufficient Medi-Cal reimbursements. The shortage of resources has put these facilities in a tenuous operational and financial state. If the cuts are not stopped, hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities will be faced with the tough choice of closing or drastically reducing essential services that have kept their patients’ health issues from turning into medical crises.

The absence of these critical services will end up costing taxpayers substantially more in the long run than any short-term savings to the state’s budget. To make matters worse, the state has no plans for how it will accommodate the hundreds of patients who will be displaced.

AB 900 will stop the cuts, save the state money and preserve essential care for our most vulnerable and frail residents. Show your support for AB 900 by visiting www.CaringisourCalling.org and using the action center to tell your representatives to help keep seniors and disabled patients safe in our communities, where they belong.
 



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