Let’s Keep Talking

Greg Crist

Greg Crist

Today’s guest blog is from Greg Crist, vice president of public affairs at the American Health Care Association.

“Let’s keep talking,” you hear people in Washington say.

It’s one of those awful expressions that creeps into conversations, the go-to cliché of wannabes, kind of like, “Let’s do lunch,” or “paradigm.” Even worse, it’s one of those expressions that, by some weird Orwellian process, you can accidentally blurt it out yourself.

But watching the political races this year, I’m giving another thought to the idea of keeping on talking. Because it might be working.

Two (more-or-less) random examples:

Earlier this year, CMS decided to end the practice of freezing payments while facilities are being audited under ZPIC. That came after pressure from House Republicans who were worried about quality of care for our patients.

And then, I’m sure you saw the shout-out our industry got from former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic Convention this summer.

I’d love to tell you that each of these moments were because we’ve got Washington power-brokers on speed dial and they quake at the very idea of crossing us.

Still, these efforts by our nation’s leaders aren’t coming out of nowhere, either. Clearly they must have heard the talk. And it must have come from more than just us here in Washington.

I was on the road a lot this summer, talking with members about what’s going on. And I’m both proud and pleasantly surprised when the things I heard “out there” get to the ears of Washington leaders.

We’ve got a new poll out that shows voters don’t want any more cuts to nursing homes. Those are powerful voices. We’re going to need to hear even more of them as we veer closer to the fiscal cliff.

So, yeah, providers: Let’s keep talking.

Greg Crist
Vice President, Public Affairs
American Health Care Association

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Filed under health care, Long term care

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