Monday, October 5, 2009

Waves of New Fund Cuts Imperil US Nursing Homes

"A Medicare rate adjustment that cuts an estimated $16 billion in nursing home funding over the next 10 years was enacted at week's end by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — on top of state-level cuts or flat-funding that already had the industry reeling."

"And Congress is debating slashing billions more in Medicare funding as part of health care reform. Add it all up, and the nursing home industry is headed for a crisis, industry officials say."

"The funding crisis comes as the nation's baby boomers age ever closer toward needing nursing home care. The nation's 16,000 nursing homes housed 1.85 million people last year, up from 1.79 million in 2007, U.S. Census Bureau figures show."

"Medicaid reimbursement rates to nursing homes were cut this year by Rhode Island (5 percent); Michigan (4 percent) and Florida (3 percent)."

"A University of Pittsburgh study earlier this year found nearly 1,800 nursing homes nationwide closed from 1999 to 2005, about 2 percent each year."

"On average, Medicaid payments by states to nursing homes fell short by $12 per patient, per day last year — nearly $4.2 billion in unreimbursed costs for Medicaid-allowed expenses, according to the AHCA."

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