Final series’ installment brings attention to the link between adequate Medicaid funding and nursing home quality care
On the eve of the opening of the 2011 Legislative Session, Florida Health Care Association’s (FHCA) final installment in its State of Long Term Care series sheds light on the importance of steady and stable funding for Medicaid and Medicare to preserve the ongoing improvements that have been made to nursing home residents’ quality care.
“When the 2011 Legislature opens tomorrow, lawmakers must understand that quality care and adequate Medicaid funding work hand-in-hand,” stated Emmett Reed Executive Director of FHCA, Florida’s first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the frail elders they serve. “Every one of us has had a parent or grandparent who has needed care in a facility. Millions of Floridians are soon going to need these services. The funding systems must be prepared for that.”
The State of Reimbursement Fact Sheet demonstrates how nursing homes are extremely sensitive to Medicaid rate reductions, since nearly 60 percent of residents rely on Medicaid to cover the cost of their long term care services. Medicaid often fails to cover the actual cost of providing that care, with facilities losing an average of $11.87 a day or just over $280,000 a year. Furthermore, 70 percent of nursing home operating costs are attributed to people working in facilities – nurses, CNAs and others – which means lack of adequate funding could result in job losses, putting resident quality care at risk.
The State of Reimbursement Fact Sheet also points to the importance of the Nursing Home Quality Assessment, which was created in 2009 to help nursing home care avert devastating Medicaid funding cuts. The Assessment has brought in an additional $622.5 million in federal Medicaid funding and helped save the State of Florida $219 million in General Revenue in the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year.
The week-long State of Long Term Care series will bring awareness to Florida’s long term care demographics, Medicaid reimbursement challenges, the economic impact of the profession and the steady improvements that have been made in quality care. For more information, follow the series here or at: