Thanks, Bill?Johnson

Dear Editor:

As the administrator at Heartland-Lansing caring for 83 of our community’s senior and disabled citizens, I want to take the time to thank Congressman Bill Johnson for touring our facility and speaking with residents.

I see first-hand a shift in our patient population, which includes increasingly complex patients requiring post-acute (post-hospital) and rehabilitative care. I witness daily the great success we have in improving the health of our patients, helping them to return to their homes as quickly as possible, and reducing costly rehospitalizations.

These efforts are only possible through stable and adequate Medicare funding levels coming from Washington. The combination of recent Medicare cuts and a fragile Medicaid system threatens our ability to offer the quality of care our seniors deserve.

Over the past several years, our center and centers like ours across the nation, have been hit by a series of deep federal funding cuts. FurtherMedicare funding cuts in January 2013, as a result of the automatic across the board cuts mandated by Congress in the Budget Control Act, stand to further destabilize our critical healthcare sector.

The bottom line is that more Washington Medicare cuts as the default policy option is wrong for our seniors, taxpayers and the overall effectiveness of our healthcare system.

We thank Congressman Johnson for his interest in the issues impacting our state’s skilled nursing facilities, the patients we serve and the importance of Medicare funding stability to our healthcare community.

Heather Borkoski,