behalf of the 255 member nursing facilities of the Louisiana Nursing Home
Association (LNHA), I would like to respond to your recent article concerning
contributions for Governor Jindal’s presidential campaign. The article is unfair
and unbalanced...and light on substance.
is curious that the article focuses on "empty beds,” yet does not reference any
improvement regarding the reduction of bed capacity. LNHA, working in concert
with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, succeeded in reducing
the number of overall nursing facility beds from 40,000 to 35,000 over a 10-year
period. This represents an equivalent of 40 fewer nursing facilities.
every nursing facility program in the country has a rate reimbursement
methodology that contains a cost component that factors in capital costs. In
Louisiana, nursing facilities are not paid for empty beds. Medicaid pays
a predetermined amount per month for each resident cared for by a facility. A
portion of that amount contains the aforementioned capital cost component. In
Louisiana, it is based on fair rental value. If someone is not residing in a
bed, then the facility receives no payment. Louisiana’s nursing facilities are
reimbursed in the bottom quartile in the country.
mission of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association is to offer its members the
necessary tools to enhance their ability to provide quality of care and quality
of life to their residents. One of LNHA’s responsibilities is to advocate on
behalf of its membership, addressing policymakers, regulators and legislators
and sharing our concerns regarding proposed rules and legislation. It is
neither illegal, nor wrong, that member associations, as well as individuals,
exercise the right to advocate on their behalf.
It is impossible for any one legislator or policymaker to be aware of
all the complexities and intricacies of each piece of legislation or
finance is a reality. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that campaign
finance is "political free speech” and noted that the government cannot
regulate free speech. Free speech is among the most cherished rights and it
should be protected.
imagine that even journalists have associations upon which they rely. Accuracy
in reporting should not be a lost art.