Nevada Health Care Association prepares for 2011 Nevada Legislative session

Organization works tirelessly to represent interests of long-term care industry, educate state’s political leaders on implications of their votes

LAS VEGAS – With the votes in and Nevada’s political leaders selected, it’s crunch time for organizations working to get their voices heard during the 2011 Nevada Legislative session.

Nevada Health Care Association is one of those organizations, and Charles Perry, the organization’s president and chief government affairs liaison, is on a mission to ensure all of the state’s political leaders understand how the decisions they make during the 2011 Legislative session will affect both Nevada’s seniors, specifically, as well as Nevada’s health care system as a whole.

“Nevada is expected to face a $3 billion shortfall that will need to be addressed this legislative session,” Perry said. “Budgets are going to be cut even further. The question our decision makers need to keep in mind is, ‘What kind of community do we want to be?’ Health care and education must be a permanent focus of ours at all times.”

Nevada’s fiscal condition is fragile and the 2011 Legislature will likely be faced with a deficit at least twice the size of the one addressed in the 2010 Special Session of the Nevada Legislature. The forecast is a shortfall of roughly 50 percent of the 2012-2013 budget due to lower tax collections, expiration of the temporary tax increases passed in 2009, and the end of Federal stimulus money on Dec. 31. According to NVHCA, Nevada could very well be facing a temporary reduction, such as happened in May-June of 2009, before the end of the biennium.

Furthermore, there is currently a movement to approve a drastic increase in facility licensure fees. If this proposed legislation passes, Nevada’s long-term care facilities would be forced to raise their rates to offset costs. This is a statewide issue and NVHCA, together with the Nevada Health Career Association and Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, are working with the Nevada Bureau of Health Care Quality & Compliance to stop this initiative, which will be brought to vote in the 2011 Nevada Legislative Session.

Main Points NVHCA is focusing on for the 2011 Legislature:

  • Pass legislation for Certified Medication Aids.
  • Fund current Medicaid programs appropriately from the Nevada General Fund.
  • Reduce Clark County Insurance requirements facilitating lower insurance rates for providers.
  • Tort Reform – Refers to proposed changes in the civil justice system that would reduce tort litigation or damages.
  • Reduction of unfunded state and federal mandates.
  • Presumed Eligibility for Nevada Medicaid payments.

The Nevada Health Care Association is a non-profit organization of long term care facilities and associate members, together representing nearly 50 non-profit and for-profit assisted living, nursing facility, and sub-acute care providers that care for over 6,000 elderly and disabled individuals statewide and employ more than 8,000 Nevadans.

For more information regarding Nevada Health Care Association, call  800-307-0942 or visit www.nvhca.org.

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