Stable Medicaid funding means access to critical services and stability of long term care workforce
Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) today applauded Governor Rick Scott for his leadership in preserving critical Medicaid funding for Florida’s seniors and persons with disabilities who are cared for in nursing facilities (also referred to as nursing homes).
“Florida’s nursing facilities provide vital services to our state’s frailest elders, and we’re thankful the Governor understands the important connection between adequate funding and high-quality care,” said Emmett Reed, Executive Director of FHCA, the state’s first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the residents under their care.
Florida’s long term care providers continue to make great strides in quality, yet many are struggling to meet the growing demand of aging baby boomers in light of diminishing government funding combined with rising liability costs. Nursing homes devote a full 70 percent of operating expenses to labor – nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants and other staff required to care for nearly 71,000 frail elders who require complex medical care, 24 hours a day.
With the 2014 legislative session set to begin in just over a month, topping the list of the Association’s priorities will be to ask legislators for relief from the impact of lawsuits to preserve financial resources needed for resident quality care.
“Florida Health Care Association and the long term care providers we represent look forward to working with the Governor and state legislators throughout the session to ensure that our residents and patients have access to critical services and that our caregiver workforce remains stable,” Reed continued.
Medicaid is a vital resource for nursing homes, with over 60 percent of residents relying on the program to pay for their daily care. Since 2008, Medicaid rates for nursing home care have been reduced by $696.4 million, with facilities losing an average of just over $21 per patient per day ($550,000 annually). In 2013, nursing homes also experienced a loss of over $370 million in Medicare funding through health care reform, government regulations, and Congressional legislation.