Nursing homes facing financial crisis

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Two new studies find that the underfunding of long-term facilities in Pennsylvania are putting providers in a financial crisis.  Representative Glen Grell (R-87th District) joined the Pennsylvania Health Care Association at the Capitol Media center in Harrisburg Friday to outline the financial bind facing nursing homes in the state.

Sue Morey, Vice President of HCR ManorCare, says recent statewide cuts to medicaid are hindering care providers’ abilities to recruit and retain staff, “Because so many of our residents are on medicaid and their reimbursement is so low we can no longer compete with other healthcare providers when it comes to salaries and benefits.  Now we are at a crossroads where it’s impacting our ability to recruit and retain staff and that impacts directly our residents quality of life.”

According to PCHA, HCR ManorCare has already laid off two people at every nursing home in the state because of cuts to medicaid funding.

One study by Avalere Health, a research company, found that the commonwealth’s nursing facilities have seen their income margins drop by about 60 percent between 2005 and 2012, while margins have dropped by about 80 percent for facilities largely serving patients on Medicaid.

Long-term care organizations are asking for $16 million more in commonwealth funding, which would be matched by as much as $18 million in federal money.  That, they said, could help stave off the effects of income margins that have plummeted since 2007, according to one commissioned study.

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