The Ohio Skilled Nursing Care Coalition, the umbrella group representing Ohio's skilled nursing facilities, applauded the substitute version of the state budget bill unveiled by House Democrats. The substitute bill restores critical funding for services to Ohio's frail elderly and disabled citizens that would have been lost under the Executive Budget. The Skilled Nursing Care Coalition consists of three statewide trade associations, the Ohio Health Care Association, the Association of Ohio Philanthropic Homes, Housing, and Services for the Aging (AOPHA), and the Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes.

"We are very grateful to Speaker Armond Budish and his colleagues in the Ohio House," explained Victoria Gresh, Executive Director of the Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes. "The original budget bill would have devastated our ability to deliver quality care, but the House budget shows true concern for the people we serve."

The House budget restores reductions in the Executive Budget by leveraging $40 million of state money already contained in the Executive Budget plus an additional $33.5 million to obtain federal matching funds at the enhanced match rate authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill).

"Our members made many appeals to Speaker Budish and his caucus, both directly and through our testimony to the Finance Committee and Human Services Subcommittee," said John Alfano, President and Chief Executive Officer of AOPHA. "We truly appreciate that our concerns were heard."

Peter Van Runkle, Executive Director of the Ohio Health Care Association, added, "There is still a lot of work to do in the Senate, as hundreds of skilled nursing facilities would see a reduction in state funding even under the House budget, but the House Democrats have been extremely helpful in a very difficult fiscal environment."

The Coalition estimates that the House budget will help protect more than 2,000 jobs that were at risk in Ohio skilled nursing facilities under the Executive Budget.

Source: Skilled Nursing Care Coalition

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