Friday, April 5, 2013

LTC Providers Urge Lawmakers to Take Senate's Budget Position

This week, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees met and passed their respective budgets. The Senate budget provides full funding for nursing facility care as available under current law. The House budget reduces nursing facility funding by approximately 2 percent or $45.6 million (a removal of the inflation that is available under current law and retaining the 2012-2013 average nursing home rate).

Since 2008, the Legislature has reduced nursing facility Medicaid rates by nearly $700 million, causing long term care providers to struggle with operating costs, such as skilled labor and the increased use of medical technologies, which exceed Medicaid reimbursements. Facilities are losing an average $22.81 per patient per day, or $550,000 each year as a result of chronic Medicaid underfunding.

“With 60 percent of nursing facility residents relying on Medicaid as their health care safety net, adequate Medicaid funding is critical to ensuring our state’s seniors continue to have access to quality long term care services,” said Emmett Reed, FHCA Executive Director.

As lawmakers prepare to work out their differences on their respective budgets, FHCA is asking them to take the Senate’s position in the budget conference to help restore much-needed Medicaid funding for nursing facility care.

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