Parker Jewish, Health Care Union and Lawmakers Oppose Nursing Home Medicaid Cuts
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Parker Jewish, Health Care Union and Lawmakers Oppose Nursing Home Medicaid Cuts

Urges NYS Department of Health to stop cuts that would harm Long Island seniors, families and workers

New Hyde Park, New York, October 25, 2019 – Parker Jewish Institute President and CEO Michael N. Rosenblut joined health-care workers, elected officials, union leaders and residents at Parker on Thursday to oppose the New York State Department of Health’s $250 million cut to nursing homes.

Expected to go into effect on November 6, 2019, the looming cuts come at a time when the aging population is growing, and demand for the services of skilled nursing facilities is on the rise. Currently, there are 3.2 million New York State residents who are 65 and older, and that number is expected to increase by 1 million in the next 10 years.

Health care advocates warn that the impending cuts will jeopardize jobs and quality of care in nursing homes, putting more than 600 nursing homes throughout New York State at risk. Nursing homes, some of which are already operating in negative margins, would be forced to reduce staffing and salaries, and the quality of care would suffer, directly impacting families across the state, including on Long Island.

The cuts are retroactive to July, and would further threaten nursing homes and health-care workers as well as for patients and residents in need.

Advocates now urge the Department of Health to stop the cuts and re-open its task force to include nursing home representatives – a community that was not part of the Department’s earlier discussions – to discuss budget recommendations.

“We are calling on the New York State Department of Health to reverse these looming cuts, so that nursing homes on Long Island and across the state can continue to provide quality care to the region’s older adults and to keep our health care workers employed,” Mr. Rosenblut said. “Nursing homes play a critical role in the region. Parker, for example, serves more than 7,000 individuals annually, employs more than 1,110 staff members and contributes more than $25 million to the local economy each year. We urge the Department of Health now to stop these cuts, which would fall on the backs of seniors and their families.”

At the press conference, Mr. Rosenblut stood alongside local leaders to urge Albany to overturn the budget cuts. These local leaders included Luis Valenzuela of the Long Island Healthcare Education Project, Assembly Member Phil Ramos, Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez, Assembly Member David Weprin, Council Member Barry Grodenchik, Health Care Worker Geeta Sagar, Long Island Federation of Labor Executive Director Roger Clayman and additional members of the 1199SEIU – the nation’s largest health care union. Parker residents and employees were present to show their support.

Also speaking against the cuts was Ray Green, president of Parker’s Resident Council. As Green explained, he arrived at Parker for rehabilitation more than 3-1/2 years ago, after he was paralyzed from a spinal infection.

“The doctors told me I would never walk again,” Mr. Green said. “But I was determined. After two years, I can walk again, but I could not do it without the help of the staff at Parker.”

Calling on Albany officials, Mr. Green said, “By imposing these cuts you are jeopardizing the care of thousands of seniors who need quality long-term care. We need these nursing homes.  I urge you to protect us to do all that you can.”

Contact: Lina Scacco, (718) 289-2212 or lscacco@parkerinstitute.org

About Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation

Parker Jewish Institute, headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York, is a leading provider of Short Term Rehabilitation and Long Term Care.  At the forefront of innovation in patient-centered health care and technology, the Institute is a leader in teaching and geriatric research.  Parker features its own medical department, and is nationally renowned as a skilled nursing facility, as well as a provider of community-based health care, encompassing Social Adult Day Care, Home Health Care, Medical House Calls, Palliative Care and Hospice.