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The long-term care industry would be the third-most impacted healthcare field if state Medicaid funding is converted into block grants, according to a new report.

During recent budget debates in Washington, Republicans repeatedly suggested converting Medicaid funding into block grants for states as a potential cost-saving option. In an expansive analysis of those proposals, Bloomberg News found that such re-engineering of Medicaid block grants could translate into billions of dollars in losses to long-term care programs.

Capping the growth of Medicaid through the introduction of block grants could lead to anywhere from $53 billion to $154 billion in reduced overall Medicaid spending between 2012 and 2019, according to projections. Under the Bloomberg scenario, long-term care facilities likely would lose between $8 billion and $23 billion during the time frame.

American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson said this unprecedented shift would put the frail and elderly at risk “because there are no requirements for specific types of care or eligibility.”