Study Finds Medicaid Programs Underfunding Nursing Care

Skilled nursing care is an expensive component of long term care and a new report recently released finds that Medicaid programs in states across the country are underfunded nursing facility care by $5.6 billion in 2010.   A Report on Shortfalls in Medicaid Funding For Nursing Home Care, authored for the American Health Care Association (AHCA) shows that these facilities are paying on average $7.17 per hour per patient, less than the nation’s current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.  The report, compiled by research group Eljay, examines the states that are most affected by the fiscal pressures on Medicaid budgets in individual states.  The states that show the greatest challenges include New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.  While Medicare cross-subsidization of Medicaid is an important role in sustaining nursing home care, Medicare margins are not enough to balance the Medicaid shortfalls that are expected to increase for both programs. 

“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 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.”

For the full report, visit:  A Report on Shortfalls in Medicaid Funding For Nursing Home Care