#1 Waves of New Fund Cuts Imperil US Nursing Homes
10-05-2009, 12:31 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
"They Really Are Going To 'Snuff' Granny And Grandpa !"
The nation's nursing homes are perilously close to laying off workers, cutting services — possibly even closing — because of a perfect storm wallop from the recession and deep federal and state government spending cuts, industry experts say.
A Medicare rate adjustment that cuts an estimated $16 billion in nursing home funding over the next 10 years was enacted at week's end by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — on top of state-level cuts or flat-funding that already had the industry reeling.
And Congress is debating slashing billions more in Medicare funding as part of health care reform.
Add it all up, and the nursing home industry is headed for a crisis, industry officials say.
"We can foresee the possibility of nursing homes having to close their doors," said David Hebert, a senior vice president at the American Health Care Association. "I certainly foresee that we'll have to let staff go."
The funding crisis comes as the nation's baby boomers age ever closer toward needing nursing home care. The nation's 16,000 nursing homes housed 1.85 million people last year, up from 1.79 million in 2007, U.S. Census Bureau figures show.
Already this year, 24 states have cut funding for nursing home care and other health services needed by low-income people who are elderly or disabled, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research firm based in Washington, D.C.
Some facilities are now closed because of money problems — including four in Connecticut — and others have laid off workers because of what industry officials say are inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates. Medicare cuts are troubling, they say, because the higher Medicare reimbursements have been used to compensate for the lower Medicaid rates.
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.
10-05-2009, 12:59 AM
Despite this there is still a high percentage of the elderly that support the democrats. At least my mother is realizing the truth.
10-05-2009, 04:35 AM
Wow, more families might actually start having to take care of loved ones at home.
10-05-2009, 08:55 AM
My grandma was in a very expensive nursing home for the last 6-7 years of her life, after having a stroke. The area my grandparents live in doesn't offer a lot in the way of home health care services, and medicare/Blue Cross stops paying for physical therapy for stroke victims if they fail to make progress after a certain point. My grandpa tried to take care of her himself, but couldn't manage some of the basic things, like hauling her out of bed and into her chair, and getting her from the chair to the toilet, and so forth. He did have a bunch of things set up in the bathroom for that purpose, and if he had had someone to assist him daily in the morning and with baths every couple of days, she could have spent at least 3 of those years at home.
If they had lived in metro Detroit or in the Grand Rapids area, they would have had access to home health services. Grandpa also would have saved the $6000+ he spent monthly on the nursing home, that didn't even cover her medications, "briefs" and that didn't provide her with any therapy.
10-05-2009, 11:44 AM
- Join Date
- May 2008
It is a shame so many people dump their elders in nursing homes. Those are horrible places.
My dad was a union guy so we rarely talked politics. No sense in getting in an argument. My mom was a closet Repub. I think.
Last edited by lacarnut; 10-05-2009 at 11:47 AM.
10-05-2009, 11:46 AM"Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Northern Virginia
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