Pennsylvania, among many other states, is trying to trim down their spending in certain areas. For Pennsylvania, this means nursing homes will lose funding from the state through Medicaid cutbacks. Governor Tom Corbett recently released his fiscal year budget, which would become effective July 1st. Within this budget proposal, there would be a 4% cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes. This amounts to about a $46.5 million dollar revenue loss, as reported by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. Broken down by day, this is a loss of about $8 per day from an average $194 spent on Medicaid-eligible patients. Nursing homes are already operating at a loss under the current budget when serving Medicaid patients, with an average loss per patient per day of $19.23. These numbers are especially important when you take into consideration that about 2/3 of residents in state nursing homes are covered under Medicaid. This also varies by location. For example, Philadelphia-area nursing homes have about 75% of their state home residents covered under the program.
Budget cuts affect nursing homes in many ways. A lack of financial resources may result in understaffing and decreased patient-employee interactions. It will almost certainly lower the quality of care able to be given to these patients as well. With this in mind, nursing homes will have to modify their practices and staffing procedures, which may eventually lead to increased incidents of negligence, abuse, and under/inefficient staffing. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence. For more information on his practice, please visit our website.