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New National Study Spotlights Importance of Federal Medicare Funding to Propping-Up Seniors' Deteriorating State Medicaid Benefits and Services
Date:12/8/2009

in the House bill - $23.9 billion over ten years - in light of both the growing dependence upon Medicare to prop-up Medicaid, and the fact that Medicare cuts of up to $16 billion were just put into effect on October 1, 2009.

The AHCA Chair also commended U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for working to include a key provision in the Senate health reform bill Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) that will help get to the root of the decade-long Medicaid under funding crisis: a provision to require the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) to review and report on Medicaid funding when making recommendations about Medicare payments. "Both the Wyden Amendment and the Nursing Facility Supplemental Payment Program in the House bill are solid, smart public policy initiatives that merit inclusion in a final health reform bill."

The largest payer for long-term care in the nation, Medicaid pays for more than two-thirds of skilled nursing facility patient-days annually. Each state sets a daily care reimbursement rate ostensibly tied to the "allowable costs" of providing care in that state - costs such as 24-hour nursing care; three meals per day with important dietary supplements; other essential care services for grooming, personal care, bathing, and eating; medical supplies such as beds and wheelchairs; social activities, and more in a number of states.

Key findings of the new Eljay LLC Medicaid report are as follows:

  • The average shortfall in Medicaid nursing home reimbursement is projected to be $4.7 billion for 2009, or, $14.17 per Medicaid patient day.
  • Medicare continues to play an important role in the cross-subsidization of Medicaid deficits. According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission or MedPAC, the average margin on Medicare payment to nursing homes in 2007 was 14.5% while our analysis indicates a 9.0% shortfall on Medicaid payment for that year. The w
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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