Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), the largest senior living provider in the nation, has implemented salary freezes among some of its employees whose work relates closely to the Medicare program, the Nashville Business Journal reported Wednesday.
According to a letter obtained by the publication, Brookdale first informed employees of the freeze in July, specifying that a small portion of employees would not receive merit based compensation increases for 2013.
Brookdale provided more information in an emailed statement Wednesday, with the company stressing that the freeze impacts only a “small percentage” of the provider’s overall employee base and is directly related to Medicare reimbursement cuts announced in 2012.
“As you know, the changes in Medicare caps and reimbursement rates being mandated by the federal government have resulted in a dramatic reduction in the use of therapy services by seniors, unfortunately even when they have real needs,” said a Brookdale spokeswoman an in email to SHN. “The reduction in reimbursement rates to providers has also affected the business model, and Brookdale, like all companies that provide health care services, is actively seeking to balance these changes. We have looked at a number of ways to balance the changes, and deal with the financial realities they caused. As a result, in 2013 the company was unable to provide a wage increase for certain associates whose work is directly related to the Medicare program.”
A nationwide operator of assisted living, independent living, skilled nursing, therapy, home care and hospice, among other services, the company currently has 55 communities that include a skilled nursing component.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker