Medicaid Cuts Have Nursing Homes Worried, Could Affect Care

A good number of patients who reside in nursing homes rely on Medicaid to provide for their care in these facilities. However, Congress has proposed cuts to the program that has nursing homes concerned. As NPR reports, these proposed cuts could mean cuts for staff and other necessities in nursing homes.

Conservatives have wanted to curb Medicaid spending for decades. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has wanted to tackle the issue since his college days. A senior fellow in health policy studies at the Heritage Institute, Robert Moffat, says that Medicaid is not being utilized as intended.

Voting on the currently proposed bill has been pushed back. Despite this, many in the nursing home industry are concerned. With nearly two-thirds of those staying in nursing homes funded by Medicaid, the proposed cuts of nearly $770 billion over the next decade could spell trouble for residents and staff of nursing homes alike.

Residents like Betty Redlin, 88, who has lived at Victoria Care center in Ventura, California for about two and a half years. If not for Medicaid, the former bookkeeper would be out on the streets.

The director of Victoria Care center, John Gardner, says that most of the long-term care residents are on Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program.

However, Gardner does not think that whatever Congress does will close Victoria Care Center down. However, he might have to cut costs related to staff and the costs of food and supplies.

Not everyone is so hopeful. The America Health Care Associate (AHCA) says that the new bill would result in nursing homes running deficits of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  If a business is not profitable, it does not stay in business. If nursing homes begin to close, access to beds could become a huge issue.

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