Funding Cuts Imperil U.S. Nursing Homes

At the end of last week, a Medicare rate adjustment that cuts $16 billion in nursing home funding went into effect. That cut, combined with state cuts, is creating conditions that are likely to put nursing homes in a state of crisis. In fact, the president of the American Health Care Association is predicting the nursing facilities will close their doors.
Already numerous nursing homes have closed their doors because of money problems, and many others have reduced staffing, creating conditions for substandard care. The crisis could not come a worse time, as baby boomers steamroll toward retirement and the need for skilled nursing care. Just last year U.S. nursing homes housed 1.85 million people, about 100,000 more than the previous year.

In Griswold, Conn., the community’s only nursing home shut down earlier this year because of rising costs and an inability to pay for $4.9 million in needed renovations for the 90-bed facility.”A 92-year-old woman was screaming and crying as she was loaded into the ambulance, saying ‘This is my home,'” Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony said. His 88-year-old mother was a resident of the same home at the time.

Long-term care is enormously expensive, and yet it is not discussed in this American debate about health care. Most of our living clients are on Medi-Cal and costing the state government from $5,000 – $10,000 per month. The long-term care industry has never seen such a crisis, and the prospects for more money for care are dim. While the federal stimulus package included $87 million in Medicaid funding (Medi-Cal in California), much have that has been diverted to alleviate other budgetary problems.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune

The elder abuse lawyers at the Walton Law Firm represent individuals and families who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free consultation.

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