February 11,1999


WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE), today announced that he and Senators Moynihan, Grassley and Graham will introduce legislation to protect nursing home residents later this month. The bill will be a companion to House legislation (HR 540) being considered by the House Commerce Committee today.

"Our bill will keep nursing home residents who rely on Medicaid from being 'dumped' out of the facility they call home, should that facility decide to drop participation in the Medicaid program," Chairman Roth said. "Both the nursing home industry and senior citizens' advocates support our legislation. This is a common sense, good-government bill that will enhance the peace of mind of low-income elderly and disabled individuals."

While pull-outs by nursing homes from the Medicaid program are very rare, Medicaid beneficiaries in facilities in Indiana and Florida found themselves "dumped" recently. The care of residents was disrupted, and families were forced to scramble for other alternatives.

The Roth/Moynihan/Grassley/Graham legislation simply requires that facilities withdrawing from the Medicaid program continue to care for current residents under the terms and conditions of the Medicaid program until those residents no longer require care. Facilities would essentially phase-down participation in Medicaid rather than dropping from the program overnight.

In addition, other Finance Committee members have joined the Senators as original cosponsors. They are: Senators Chafee, Mack, Rockefeller, Breaux, Bryan, and Kerrey.