Medicaid blamed as closings escalate

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Inadequate Medicaid payments appear to be taking a major toll in Wisconsin. Two more facilities announced at press time they are closing.

Executives in other states are keeping a close eye on developments. John Vander Meer, executive director of the Wisconsin Health Care Association, said the closures reflect a troubling trend.

“In the last year, 16 facilities have had to close their doors due to low reimbursement and an ongoing workforce shortage,” Vander Meer said in a news release. “While long-term care providers are grateful to Gov. Walker (R) and the Legislature for including a 2% skilled nursing reimbursement increase in the 2017-18 budget, these closures demonstrate that there is much more to be done, and the time is now for the state to consider systemic skilled nursing Medicaid reimbursement reform.”

In downtown Eau Claire, Syverson Rehab and Health will close after transferring its 47 residents, a process that could take up to four months, Grace Lutheran Communities officials said.

Len Fast, administrator of Care & Rehab-Dallas, said his 30-resident nursing home will also close once the last resident is placed.