1. This is a very well researched, well written article – best I've read on this issue in a long time. Good work!

  2. Excellent article, and what makes it even better is how the author includes links to the source material when statistics are cited.

    I would be interested in reading why nursing homes even allow medicaid patients, given that the reimbursement rates don't cover the actual cost. Why would they do this?

  3. Long term residents that were once private pay may run out of funds and then have no choice but to go on Medicaid. Medicaid and Medicare can go hand in hand for certain medical services and facilities are either Medicaid/Medicare certified or not. Skilled facilities can control their bed mix with sub-acute rehab patients and long term patients that are private pay and Medicaid funded and make a profit. In addition, even if a facility loses money on Medicaid reimbursement at least the bed it not empty. Losing some money is better than not making any money at all.

  4. This is alarming and the government should do something about this as soon as possible. If their budget will never be enough to accommodate every senior's needs, then they should come up with a program similar to CLASS Act that would encourage baby boomers and everyone who will be needing long term care in the future to invest in long term care policies and the likes. I hope they can come up with a solution right away because this is a serious problem.

  5. While Medicare and Medicaid together pay for the care of three out of every four SNF patients, it is crucial to assess not just the impact both programs have on the ability of providers to continue delivering quality patient care, but also how to improve cost savings by better coordinating today’s fragmented policymaking process. Funding reduction after funding reduction is no substitute for rational policymaking that can help patients and help stabilize a key U.S. health sector already slated to absorb $48 billion in funding cuts between FY 2012-21.

    The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care will continue to stress the need to end fragmented SNF policymaking in order to help sustain quality gains and boost cost efficiency. Intelligent reforms can also help improve the coordination of care for an aging, increasingly disparate, higher acuity patient population.

    Rather than simply reducing Medicare and Medicaid funding at a time when the cost of providing care is increasing substantially – and often due to government policy itself — we urge policymakers to take steps toward equalizing payments for certain patient conditions in post-acute settings. This will be a major topic of discussion throughout 2012.

    Alan Rosenbloom
    Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care

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