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Senator Santorum Discusses His Long-Term Care Legislation and Listens to Healthcare Concerns at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital

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Date:
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA


Senator Santorum Discusses His Long-Term Care Legislation and Listens to Healthcare Concerns at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital

Santorum has worked to bring fair Medicare reimbursement to area hospitals and to alleviate nursing shortage

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today discussed his long-term care legislation and listened to healthcare concerns from healthcare providers at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

"Last September I was in Lackawanna County at the Dunmore Health Care Center to listen to administrators and staff from personal care facilities, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and senior service providers about long-term care for loved ones," said Senator Santorum. "I took into consideration what I heard then, as well as in other meetings across the state, and I am pleased to return to northeast Pennsylvania to talk about the long-term legislation I introduced earlier this month."

Senator Santorum recently introduced federal legislation to encourage care giving and long-term care planning. If passed by Congress, the Aging with Respect and Dignity Act (S. 2281) would assist caregivers who are providing for their loved-ones. Also, S.2281 encourages financial planning so more Pennsylvanians have options in choosing the best possible long-term care that matches their needs.

Pennsylvania has one of the largest senior populations in the nation, and the number of Pennsylvanians age 85 and older is projected to increase by thirty-eight percent between 2000 and 2015. Long-term care can range from basic help with chores and activities in the home, assistance with activities of daily living in an assisted living facility, or highly skilled care in a nursing facility.

For more information about Senator Santorum and long-term care go to http://santorum.senate.gov and enter the keywords LONG-TERM CARE.

In addition to talking about his long-term care legislation, Senator Santorum listened to concerns from nurses, doctors and staff from Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, which is also home to the leading Nesbitt Women's and Children's center.

Senator Santorum has been supportive of efforts to keep doctors and nurses in Pennsylvania. Currently, Pennsylvania faces a shortage of nurses and nurse educators, as well as OB/GYNs.

"As we see the baby-boomers reaching the age where they require more health care, we are going to need more healthcare professional to help offset this influx in health care needs," said Senator Santorum.

Also, in an effort to keep doctors and nurses in northeast Pennsylvania, Senator Santorum announced at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in January 2004 a temporary fix to the Medicare reimbursement rates for hospitals in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. The provision to provide this fix was a part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, the temporary provisions, which has been helpful for Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, is set to expire in October of 2007.

Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is a part of the Wyoming Valley Health Care Systems, which received an additional $5.5 million per year over three years as a result of the provision Senator Santorum secured. Senator Santorum met with local representatives from area hospitals and is committed to maintaining fair and equitable Medicare reimbursements for all Pennsylvania hospitals.

Senator Santorum was also an original cosponsor and supported passage of the Nurse Reinvestment Act (P.L. 107-205) (S. 1864), which established a nurse corps and recruitment and retention strategy to address the nursing shortage.

For more information about the temporary provision to bring fair Medicare reimbursement to northeast Pennsylvania go to http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=674&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0.

For more information about Senator Santorum and health care go to http://santorum.senate.gov and enter the keywords HEALTH CARE.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1691&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0

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