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Survey Shows Tax Increase Forcing Ohio Skilled Nursing Facilities to Make Cuts
Date:12/14/2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in Ohio are making major changes in operations and services in order to deal with a 92 percent increase in the state-imposed Medicaid bed tax (franchise permit fee) from $6.25 to $12.01 per bed per day, scheduled for December 15. The increase means that the average facility will pay an additional $17,520 to the state each month, or $210,240 per year, for a total tax of $438,365 yearly.

Nearly 96 percent of skilled nursing facilities responding to a survey released today indicate that they believe the tariff will have a negative impact on their ability to provide quality long-term care services. The providers are cancelling raises, trimming benefits, reducing staff, delaying or dropping improvements and renovations, and making other cuts to prepare for the payment.

The bed tax is assessed on top of all other taxes and fees SNFs pay, including property taxes and income taxes. The tax is similar to the one recently assessed on Ohio hospitals, which reportedly has caused hardship to the hospital community.

"Following a 5-year trend where reimbursement for services has not kept up with rising costs - and years with actual cuts in payments - Ohio's skilled nursing facilities are now expected to take an additional loss of $186 million over the next two years," said Peter Van Runkle, Executive Director of the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA), which conducted the survey. OHCA is the state's largest organization representing long-term care facilities.

The survey (www.ohca.org/uploads/news/State_Budget_Impact_on_SNFs.pdf) finds that 63 percent of the facilities responding had already implemented changes in services, with nearly
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SOURCE Ohio Health Care Association
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