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 New House Member Has Long Term Care Roots

 

 

With Jim Renacci’s election to Congress, long term care providers have one of their own in office, considering the new representative from Ohio’s 16th district used to own and operate nursing facilities throughout the state as part of his LTC Management Services company.
Jim Renacci
Renacci will be one of more than four dozen new Republican members taking office this month in the House of Representatives, helping to sweep Democrats out of power and setting the stage for a divided government, with the White House and Senate remaining in the hands of Democrats.

Health care is a top priority for Renacci, 52, a Pennsylvania-born businessman turned politician who defeated freshman lawmaker John Boccieri by a wide margin in November. He spoke to Provider magazine recently and is the first lawmaker to be profiled in what will be a regular series in this space.
Renacci is deeply concerned about protecting the safety net—Medicare and Medicaid—that exists for caring for the elderly but at the same time is coming to Washington to promote policies for growing the economy, reining in spending, and correcting what he views as a flawed health care reform law.

“I campaigned on ‘repeal and replace,’” he says of the reform law, noting the changes in the law addressed coverage issues but ignored costs, which vastly overemphasizes the lesser of the two major problems in the system.
There were some positive measures in the law, like protecting coverage for preexisting conditions, but it fell way too short of being a good law, he says. “All of these good points could be molded into a new bill as long as you take care of costs. We need to replace that bill and take care of some of the safety net issues. Bringing competition to health care is a main priority,” Renacci says.

From his time in the nursing facility business, Renacci identifies with providers who see a need to change the survey process and the Five-Star rating system. He calls it inconsistent and without real logic.

“One of the problems with it is that some of the best homes can be rated low, and some of those that don’t operate as highly rate higher. You can walk into any nursing home and find issues if you want to, but it depends on the day and the survey team. It is not consistent and not standard,” he says.

Over-regulation of the long term care industry is a major problem, and there needs to be a determination of which rules are necessary and which are not, Renacci says. “Long term care is an essential part of the economy, and it is a necessity to take care of the safety net for the elderly,” he says.
 
Renacci will be undertaking a major move in coming to the nation’s capital. He has lived in the 16th district for 27 years, calling Wadsworth, Ohio, home, and raising three now college-age and older children with his wife, Tina. He grew up in a working-class home outside of Pittsburgh, graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Wadsworth where he initially worked as a certified public accountant. In 1985, Renacci formed LTC Management Services, owning and operating nursing facilities throughout Ohio.
The road to Washington began in local government. Renacci served on the Board of Zoning Appeals from 1993-1994, from 1999-2002 as president of the City Council, and then as mayor from 2004-2008, where he balanced Wadsworth’s $80 million budget without raising taxes.

Beyond all of the specific issues that will come before him as a lawmaker, Renacci says the focus should be on how policies affect the country’s citizens moving forward. “In every decision we make, we need to make sure we are considering our children and grandchildren. This is what I learned from talking to the people during the campaign,” Renacci says.
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