Alliance chief urges Medicaid policies that cut funding gap
Better policies that bolster Medicaid funding are needed, according to the head of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care during testimony Monday before the Medicaid Commission.A delicate funding balance supports the nursing home industry, said AQNHC President Alan Rosenbloom. Currently, Medicare pays for only 12% of residents, but provides 26% of long-term care's revenues. Medicaid, on the other hand, pays for 66% of residents but provides only 50% of revenues. Also, Medicaid residents tend to be sicker and to stay in facilities for longer periods of time. The funding gap is currently $4.5 billion annually. Without changes in payment policy, Rosenbloom cautioned that gap would escalate beyond that.
By year's end, the commission will make final recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid regarding long-term care payments. Last July, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt created the commission to identify reforms necessary to stabilize and strengthen Medicaid.