Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Needy Patients Facing Double Setback Medicaid Cuts Pinch Area's Nursing Homes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Needy Patients Facing Double Setback Medicaid Cuts Pinch Area's Nursing Homes

Article excerpt

Set against proposed 30 percent cuts in state higher education funding, Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed 4 percent cut in Medicaid reimbursements looks reasonable enough.

But for Pennsylvania nursing homes -- where the majority of residents are on medical assistance -- this cut would follow an 11.1 percent decrease in Medicare reimbursement imposed in October by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

As a result, individuals on Medicaid could find it more difficult to find a nursing home that will accept them.

Nursing homes are already losing $19.23 per Medicaid resident per day, said Stuart Shapiro, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management, the trade association for the state's skilled nursing homes and personal care homes.

Historically, they've been able to make up for the Medicaid losses with Medicare reimbursements, but after the Medicare cut last fall, many facilities are now operating with about a 1 percent profit margin, he said.

"Because of the way nursing homes are reimbursed under Medicare, there's little room to take any additional cuts," said Dr. Shapiro. "We're looking forward to working with the administration and Legislature to mitigate the 4 percent cut."

In general, Medicaid is a state-governed program for low-income residents while Medicare is a federal-governed program for people over 65 and the permanently disabled.

According to the association, 60 percent of residents in Allegheny County nursing homes are on Medicaid and the numbers are even higher in surrounding counties: 74 percent in Beaver County; 71 percent in Lawrence County; 70 percent in both Washington and Westmoreland counties; 68 percent in Fayette County; 64 percent in Armstrong County; and 62 percent in Butler County.

The statewide average is 65 percent.

With the prospect of even lower reimbursements, nursing homes will have to consider who will pay the bill before accepting a new resident. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.