Jupiter Nursing Home Neglect May Rise With Medicaid Cuts

April 7, 2012 by Dean H. Freeman

Instances of Jupiter nursing home neglect could soon be on the rise with cuts to the state budget used primarily for treating disabled and elderly patients.
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Our Jupiter nursing home neglect attorneys understand that the state's $70 billion budget is granting about $300 million less next year to reimburse hospitals that care for these vulnerable patients, who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

These cuts are especially devastating, considering there were already $500 million in cuts made for this fiscal year.

Hospitals and nursing homes are scrambling to determine which services they will need to pare down or get rid of altogether. Hospitals say they are looking at all possibilities: not filing open positions, fewer community-oriented services and programs and even layoffs. In fact, it's estimated that the cuts could mean the loss of some 46,000 health care jobs across the state.

Regardless of what they decide, it's ultimately going to boil down to a reduction in services for patients.

In some cases, individual hospitals are looking at reductions that top more than $7 million each. In some cases, hospitals are considering reducing the number of times an adult patient can visit the emergency room to six.

That would have huge implications for nursing homes, which often rely on hospitals to care for patients who become more critically ill. But if someone has a condition that regularly requires a more intensive level of care, nursing homes could be forced to handle those issues on their own if the patient's emergency room visits are capped out.

Additionally, another estimated $440 million has been cut from the Medicaid reimbursement for physicians.

Let's face it: While many doctors and health care workers got into their field with great idealism and hopes of healing, those who are paid less are going to offer a decreased level of care. That, or they will be struggling to make up for the voids left when other skilled health care professionals leave Florida to work in states that offer better pay.

Already, roughly three-fourths of hospitals responded in a survey that they had a tough time finding qualified health care workers to fill positions in a wide range of technical support and therapy roles - those that are often required in the nursing home fields.

What's more, the number of people who need Medicaid is increasing. And while not all these patients are elderly or in nursing homes, it has an effect on the state's entire health system.

The cost of treating a patient is already more than what Medicaid reimburses to Jupiter nursing homes, hospitals and doctors. Officials at some hospitals called the cuts "devastating.' And we don't think they're being dramatic.

Some doctors likened the cuts to being asked to donate their services to the state. With that kind of outlook, what kind of care can patients expect?

If you feel your loved one or friend is experiencing nursing home abuse and or negligence in Jupiter, please contact us for a free consultation and evaluation of your potential case. For a free and confidential appointment call toll free at 1-800-561-7777.

Additional Resources:
Medicaid cut would hit Florida's poorest patients, hospitals, By MARY SHEDDEN | The Tampa Tribune

More Blog Entries:
Do Your Research to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse in Greenacres, Elsewhere, March 27, 2012, Jupiter Nursing Home Lawyer Blog