Oklahoma nursing homes are getting their first pay bump since 2009, following a key government decision.
Skilled nursing facilities in the Sooner State stand to gain a 3.2% rate hike in Medicaid reimbursement, The Oklahoman newspaper reports. This comes after local nursing homes have suffered years of unease and budget shortfalls, with health professionals seeing their pay steadily decrease in recent years. Operators in the state have threatened closure in recent years.
“Increasing provider reimbursement rates has long been a priority to the Legislature and me,” Gov. Mary Fallin (R), in office since 2011, said in a statement. “Restoring rates is a positive measure to foster continued partnership with providers, which benefits not only members, but our state as a whole.”
Local nursing homes will see the state contribution from SoonerCare inch up to $150.74 per day, from $146.06. Industry advocates note that is still $15 short of what it costs to care for the average long-term care resident. But addressing the gap will be easier with the extra pay, advocates said.
“We’re grateful,” Nico Gomez, CEO of the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers, told the newspaper. “We just have a little further to go.”