The American Hospital Association will spend an additional $2 million to try to persuade lawmakers to give hospitals relief from the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
The AHA board approved the spending increase at its July 23 meeting in Orlando, Fla., said Richard Wade, the AHA's senior adviser for communications.
The additional money, which the AHA will take from reserves, brings the association's total advocacy budget, which is used for purposes besides fighting the budget law, to more than $10 million for this year.
Separately, late last month the nursing home industry formed what it calls a grass-roots coalition to lobby Congress to put money back into the Medicare payment system for skilled-nursing facilities.
The American Health Care Association, a nursing home trade group, spearheaded the Coalition to Fix Medicare Now, based in Washington. Among its members are professional trade associations that depend on the skilled-nursing industry for their bread and butter. They include the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care, which represents ancillary services providers.
The AHCA is working with the nation's 11 largest nursing home companies on another public relations blitz. That group calls itself the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.