Enlarge photo illustration by: Todd Wiseman The current state House and Senate budget proposals include a 10 percent cut in the rate that the state will pay Medicaid providers. Some health care lobbying groups say that when you add in the loss of the enhanced federal Medicaid match paid for by stimulus dollars that have now dried up, you get a 33 percent reduction overall. Now take those cuts and apply them to your average Texas nursing home, where a majority of residents are covered by Medicaid.
"If you would take you know 75 percent, just as an average, of the income we have coming in and cut it by a third, it would put most nursing homes between a rock and a hard place," said Susan Cottonbrook, the administrator at Avalon Place nursing home in Trinity, a small town that sits north of Lake Livingston in East Texas. While the lakefront offers several planned high-end communities, within Trinity city limits, many of the residents are far from affluent. That's reflected in the demographics at Avalon Place. Only 16 of its 86 residents pay with private insurance. The rest are covered by Medicaid, a joint state-federal program for the disabled and needy. If those funds are cut by a third, Cottonbrook said, at the very least, the current level of service is unsustainable.
"If Medicaid were not a viable source of income to represent residents in the nursing home, then yes, [we] would look at the other alternatives first because [we] would have to be able to supplement what [we] were losing on Medicaid," Cottonbrook said.
SD Legislature reduces Medicaid budget cut March 9, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CSTAssociated PressPIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Legislature has given final approval to a measure that softens the effects of budget cuts on nursing homes and other health care operations that provide services to low-income people in the Medicaid program.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed a 10 percent cut in reimbursements to doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities that provide Medicaid services.That would save the state $30 million next year.
The Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously to give Medicaid providers an extra $12.2 million that comes from savings in the program this year. That will reduce the size of budget cuts for many health care operations next year.
Nursing homes and other operations that depend on Medicaid for a large part of their income will be cut less than some other facilities
By ALLISON P. SMITH/Staff Reporter Published: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:41 AM CST Fulltime nursing facilities are the second largest health facility employers after hospitals, and a proposed 33 percent cut in Medicaid for nursing homes will have a negative impact on the local economy, officials say.
There is no way a business can take a cut of a third in revenue and survive, said Tim Graves, Texas Health Care Association president and chef executive officer.
“The Texas budget will cut $1.4 million from the money it pays to nursing homes for care,” Graves said. “This will cut the rates that are paid to nursing homes, cost job loss and displace vulnerable seniors who can’t take care of themselves.”
Half the nursing homes have a high Medicaid census and 60,000 jobs are definitely in danger, Graves said.
Click Here for latest editionBrenham Rest Home provides daily services to 50 residents employs between 45-50 people.
About 75 percent of its revenues come from Medicaid, administrative director Catherine Mahlmann said.
“If the state makes these proposed cuts, we will have to make adjustments in our day-to-day operations,” Mahlmann said. “We had a one percent cut in December and another two percent cut in February, but we will have to really tighten our belts with a 33 percent cut.”