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AHCA/Alliance Detail Components of Long Term Care Economic Recovery, Jobs Plan
Date:1/22/2009

e costs for the benefit of U.S. taxpayers."

Yarwood and Rosenbloom also said that because a substantial amount of the economic stimulus package will be devoted to state Medicaid relief, lawmakers should help ensure that a specified portion of the funds are used to maintain current funding levels for nursing home residents. It makes little sense, they said, to provide state Medicaid funding on the one hand, only to see vulnerable senior's care needs suffer from subsequent cuts to their vital Medicaid-financed care on the other.

The national long term care leaders also pointed out that the sector depends heavily upon Medicaid, which pays for the care of roughly two-thirds of nursing home patients and 12 percent of assisted living residents. Unfortunately, Medicaid has historically paid less than the cost of care, with the program on average paying nearly $13.00 per patient per day less than the cost of nursing facility care. For 2008 alone, it was projected that Medicaid paid $4.2 billion less than the actual cost of care. In challenging economic times like those today, states squeeze Medicaid still more by narrowing eligibility, shrinking benefit packages, and slashing and substantially delaying payments to providers. Illinois, for example, takes six months or more to pay legitimate and approved nursing facility claims and California recently imposed an eight week payment freeze on providers.

If we are to both protect U.S. seniors' existing access to quality nursing home care as well as take advantage of the opportunities the long-term care sector offers to support prompt economic recovery and jobs creation, Yarwood and Rosenbloom recommended that the following components be included in the economic recovery package:

Medicaid Accountability - States urgently require enhanced federal Medicaid funds to avoid dramatic cutbacks that would threaten the health care safety net.


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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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