Despite questions about the fairness of a new state funding formula, the Florida Health Care Association says redistribution of Medicaid dollars should help facilities that have struggled with performance in the past.

Under the months-old plan, several Consulate Health Care locations at risk of losing their licenses just a year ago stand to benefit from higher reimbursement rates.

In all, more than 50 poor-performing facilities are expected to net more money from Medicaid. Facility advocates say the new system has improved overall care and positioned Florida better than many others.

But 65 of the state’s highest-rated facilities are expected to lose money, according to analysis of payment data published Wednesday by USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA.

“Florida’s new nursing home payment system is expected to reward many homes investigated for neglect, with no guarantee they will spend the extra money they receive on improving patient care,” the Naples News reported Tuesday.

Among the poor-performing nursing homes expected to rake in more money are several owned by Consulate Health Care.

Before the company reached an agreement last spring that included two-year improvement plans for eight of its facilities, two-thirds of Consulate’s Florida licenses were in jeopardy.

The newspaper called changing distribution of Medicaid dollars “a victory for the biggest players in Florida’s nursing home lobby,” including the Florida Health Care Association, the state’s largest advocacy group for long-term care providers, and Consulate Health Care, the state’s largest provider.

FHCA leaders, however, said the new system is improving patient care, pointing to its own study that found Florida ranked better than “most other states” in overall nursing home care.

Consulate spokesperson Jennifer Tripp did not respond to a request for comment on the fairness of the new formula.