The Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act (CHAMP) has passed in the House this summer to renew the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). CHAMP provides new protections for Medicare beneficiaries and provides health insurance to 5 million uninsured children. Annual payment increases to Medicare skilled nursing facilities will be frozen for one year to help pay for expanded coverage. The freeze would have negative effects for 1.7 million nursing home residents and staff. The government has annually increased Medicare payments to nursing homes but continues to fail to improve quality standards. Some problems with this policy include undercompensation of nursing home staff (to the extent that many of them get health care coverage through Medicaid and SCHIP) and the fact that RN staffing is rapidly decreasing. As stated by the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR):
Medicare reform would do more to ensure quality for residents than continuing to give facilities automatic annual increases. We are asking Congress to require nursing homes to report accurate staffing data, including the number of staff and what they spend on nursing; to establish a separate funding stream in Medicare for nursing costs that can’t be transferred to profits; and to set minimum staffing standards for all facilities.
Please write or call your local Representative and ask him or her to support CHAMP Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions