Frustrated with the ongoing Medicaid shortfalls plaguing nursing homes in Pennsylvania, advocates decided to put a number to their misery — $631 million.

That’s according to a recent analysis commissioned by LeadingAge PA. From 2017 to 2018, Pennsylvania providers experienced an average daily Medicaid shortfall of almost $48 per resident, which climbed to more than $82 for nonprofit SNFs, according to the study, conducted by consulting firm RKL.  

“The results of this analysis boldly reinforce the crisis skilled nursing facilities continue to face,” Adam Marles, CEO of LeadingAge PA, said in a statement. “Excellent care and services cannot be sustained without reimbursement rates to match the escalating costs. Pennsylvania’s seniors deserve better.”

RKL reached its conclusions by developing a custom database using publicly available Medicaid cost reports. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) proposed potentially keeping flat or reducing payments to SNFs, LeadingAge PA noted. Marles further expanded on the dire state of local skilled care in a Penn Live op-ed, posted on Tuesday.

“Without reversing this shortfall trend and properly funding Medicaid in Pennsylvania, some doors may be forced to close on nursing facilities providing critical services to our senior population,” he said.

SNFs in other states also are grappling with Medicaid payments that fail to cover caregiving expenses. This week, for example, Massachusetts industry advocates are lobbying for $70 million in added funding to avert the possible closure of nearly three dozen nursing homes. And in North Dakota, SNFs are projected to lose millions without a bump in funding.