Saturday, April 07, 2012

Pennsylvania's nursing homes are in crisis

Pennsylvania's nursing homes can no longer sustain themselves with the latest cuts to Medicaid, according to a health advocate for the elderly. Families who are likely to pick up the slack also are seeing their support threatened.

"Two-thirds of Pennsylvania's nursing home residents are on Medicaid, and for each one of them, a nursing home loses an average of $19.23 a day," said Dr. Stuart H. Shapiro, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. "These shortfalls are unsustainable."
The proposed $102 million statewide cut in Medicaid funding would be felt at local nursing homes. The PHCA estimates the cuts will amount to more than $700,000 for nursing homes in Franklin County, $2 million in Cumberland, $800,000 in Adams, $100,000 in Fulton and $2.8 million in York.
Few nursing home administrators want to talk about it.
They have little room to cut expenditures, according to PHCA:
-- Staffing a nursing home around the clock makes up 70 percent of nursing home expenditures. At the same time, nursing homes are highly regulated and must meet minimum staffing requirements.
-- Nursing homes, whether nonprofit or for-profit, operate on the lowest margins of all health care sectors - less than 1 percent versus 5 percent for hospitals and home-health and managed-care companies.
"All health care providers lose money caring for those on Medicaid, but nursing homes suffer the most because they serve a much higher percentage of individuals on Medicaid," Shapiro said.
Nursing homes already have cut staff, reduced benefits, canceled renovations and delayed purchases, he said. Many are turning away people on Medicaid because the homes cannot afford to care for them.
Families will feel the emotional, physical and financial stress.

Pennsylvania's nursing homes are in crisis - Chambersburg Public Opinion

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