Lynn_Jenkins_Michael_Boulton_Ruth_HughsMedicalodges Eudora Administrator Michael Boulton (left) shows City Commissioner Ruth Hughs (center) and Representative Lynn Jenkins some of the facilities at Medicalodges Eudora (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz)

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Representative Lynn Jenkins made a stop at Medicalodges Eudora Friday morning to visit with staff and residents of the facility along with City officials on hand. Jenkins was on a tour through eastern Kansas to learn about senior living facilities and what she can do to assist locations like Medicalodges Eudora.

Jenkins has recently authored several bills in the House aimed at improving Medicare including the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act and Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act.  Both bills were easily passed by a bi-partisan vote in the House of Representatives.

Lynn_Jenkins_EvaBelle_GerstenbergerRep. Jenkins meets EvaBelle Gastenberger, one of the residents at Medicalodges Eudora. (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz)

During the discussion with Medicalodges Eudora staff, facility Administrator Michael Boulton talked about how the facility has worked hard over the past few years to improve lifestyles of the residents.

“With the Medicare and Medicaid strain, it’s been a challenge in recent times,” Boulton said. “But the ones that are serious about it, like us, will meet that challenge.”

Regulations dealing with the Affordable Healthcare Act and changes to the Medicare and Medicaid system have added to the time spent dealing with increased costs by the employer for employees and on the necessary paperwork involved with meeting the requirements of the system.

“The smiles on the resident’s faces say the story about our successes here,” Boulton stated.

Jenkins was surprised to learn the facility is 40 years old. The building began in 1975 as the Eudora Nursing Center with Medicalodges Inc. taking over the facility in 2007.

“When you walk in here, with all the remodeling you’ve done, it looks brand new,” Jenkins said.

Medicalodges Eudora also is becoming a leader in senior living in the area. Boulton touted the fact that they are rated 5 Star by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servcies (CMS) in the quality measure category. CMS is a branch of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare and Medicaid. Boulton also stated they are also working on some partnership programs with Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Jenkins also took the opportunity to talk with City leaders about their concerns. Eudora City Manager Gary Ortiz discussed how Eudora is an ideal location for transportation situated uniquely between two highways, rail service through the north side of the community and near the Intermodal Facility located nearby in Gardner, KS.  Ortiz did tell Jenkins that many eastern Kansas county and local governments were concerned about increased truck traffic through their communities due to the Intermodal Facility and hoped that there might be some assistance on a federal level to improve roads going through communities such as Eudora.

Jenkins said that one of her goals was to work on more transportation bills in the House of Representatives and that their office will work with communities like Eudora to assist with various grant programs available to communities.

“The money is out there in these grants,” Jenkins said. “I’d much rather see it go to Eudora, Kansas than some place like New York City.”

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