Florida nursing homes say state lawmakers need to break them off a larger piece of the taxpayer pie, saying legislators should restore the automatic 1 percent increase in Medicaid payments they had received up until 2011. That was the year state lawmakers halted the increase, citing budget concerns.
But now, nursing homes say that annual increase should be restored. It would mean about $13 million more from the state every year – divided up among Florida’s 683 nursing homes – plus an additional $20.2 million from the federal government. Although most of the facilities concede they haven’t suffered substantially as a result of the cuts, they certainly could use the money to combat under-staffing and other issues that pose potential risks to nursing home residents.
Lawmakers are reticent to commit to any such change. Elder safety advocates who raise awareness about nursing home abuse and neglect say any such increase should be merit-based, denied to nursing homes that consistently fall short of providing quality care for patients. Continue reading →