Twenty-five percent, or 95, nursing homes in Massachusetts are at risk of closing as the industry faces a “severe financial crisis,” a recent analysis by CliftonLarsonAllen revealed.
Key contributors to the financial instability of the state’s nursing home sector are Medicaid underfunding, escalating labor costs and growing access to assisted living and home care, Michael Slavik, chief practice officer for CLA’s Northeast region, said in a statement.
“Our report shows that many Massachusetts nursing facilities have been operating at negative margins for the past [five-plus] years, which simply is unsustainable,” he said. “It is challenging for any organization or sector to recover from years of this magnitude of losses without a significant investment in funding.”
The findings were presented during the Massachusetts Senior Care Association’s annual meeting Thursday. The report was not immediately available.
“The CLA report clearly shows the situation is dire and the causes are clear. In order to protect this state safety net service, we need to continue to build upon recent state investments in quality nursing home care and promote quality jobs in our nursing facilities,” said Tara Gregorio, president of the Mass Senior Care Association.
Gregario added that a majority of the state’s nursing facilities are “operating in the red, particularly those facilities that have a high reliance on state Medicaid funding.” A recent analysis by the organization found that the state’s Medicaid program is underfunded by about $360 million each year.
The organization plans to work with state lawmakers on legislation that would update nursing home funding based on more current costs and ensure quality care and living wages for workers, association leaders stated in a press release.