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Nursing homes: Budget cuts would put us on life support

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Pat Comstock-72.jpgWhen Pat Comstock came to Chicago last week, she paid $199 (plus tax) for a hotel room: "a place to sleep and take a shower."

By comparison, the Medicaid reimbursement rate in 2011 for one day in a nursing home was $120.30, the executive director of the Illinois Health Care Council says.

Not surprisingly, Comstock says the reimbursement is not enough. And that's before Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed $2.7 billion of Medicaid cuts are factored in.

Illinois has the lowest Medicaid reimbursement level of any state, Comstock says. And, she says, it's not easy for nursing homes to adjust to that.

"A hospital [facing budget cuts] can say: we are not going to do cardiac care, for example," Comstock told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. "Nursing homes can't do that. We have mandated services.
Pat Comstock

When we get a rate cut, we can't change our services to our Medicaid residents."

Last year, the average daily cost for a nursing home resident in illinois was $144.64.

Last weekend, the Health Care Council started a protest tour with 17 scheduled stops. The first rally was in Rockford.

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Everything goes back to cutting taxes while waging two wars and launching Medicare Part D, That turned the Clinton surplus into the Bush deficit States have to balance their budgets, but the federal government can run a deficit--for a while. Washington has to raise taxes and help out the states. In the long run, the federal deficit has to be dealt with by spending less and taxing more. But in the mean time, essential services must be protected.

Such a sad situation that nursing homes are so in dire need of financial care. Budget cuts have really torn apart these places.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on April 25, 2012 11:29 AM.

Hospitals offer own plan on Medicaid trims was the previous entry in this blog.

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