Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Now Trending: Medicaid Pays Nursing Homes Less Than Minimum Wage

January 12, 2011

Medicaid programs in states across the country underfunded nursing facility care by $5.6 billion in 2010, according to a new AHCA study released today.  On average, Medicaid pays $7.17 per hour per patient, which is less than the nation’s current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Medicaid, which is a lifeline for many elderly and disabled, funds 64 percent of skilled nursing facility care provided in America’s skilled nursing facilities nationally.

“This report reveals a truth many would not believe – today’s nursing facilities are paid less than the minimum wage,” stated Mark Parkinson, President & CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA). “That must change if we ever hope to serve the needs of a Baby Boom generation that will only stress our care delivery system further.”

The study was compiled by the research group Eljay -- a nationally-recognized expert in long term care.  States with both the highest aggregate Medicaid underfunding and highest per patient per day underfunding include New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Wisconsin.

So who fills the payment gap? Nursing home providers are often forced to rely on funding from other sources -- primarily Medicare. With so many of the nation’s governors facing difficult choices surrounding budget cuts, Parkinson cautioned at the danger of allowing an already squeezed Medicare system to prop up Medicaid payment rates. 

“There is a vast gap between the actual cost of providing quality eldercare and what the Medicaid program truly finances,” Parkinson stated. “As Baby Boomers begin to ponder their long term care needs in the future, it is simply unsustainable for Medicare to continue filling that financial gap.

States with Largest Aggregate Medicaid Underfunding 

1.         New York - $1,396,494,595
2.         Illinois - $378,779,709
3.         Massachusetts - $310,871,237
4.         New Jersey - $304,430,314
5.         California - $288,599,289
6.         Pennsylvania - $277,609,403
7.         Ohio - $248,513,290
8.         Wisconsin - $181,237,562
9.         Minnesota - $151,611,752
10.       Missouri - $137,412,649

States with Largest Medicaid Per Patient Day Underfunding

1.         New York - $47.95
2.         New Hampshire - $31.25
3.         Massachusetts - $31.22
4.         New Jersey - $29.29
5.         Washington - $28.18
6.         Wisconsin - $26.54
7.         Minnesota - $24.70
8.         Wyoming - $23.67
9.         Delaware - $22.86
10.       Illinois - $21.95

Read the complete report and share your thoughts below.  

1 comment:

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