Report: State could lose 2,000 nursing home beds and still meet needs

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A proposed nursing home "bed tax" in Indiana could deliver the state $57 million in additional Medicaid federal matching funds, according to an Indiana state legislative committee report released Thursday.

The report also calls for a bigger push to place needy seniors into community- and home-based locations, as opposed to institutional settings. The committee claims such settings would be less expensive to the state than nursing home care, a view nursing home operators dispute.

The report claims that the state could eliminate 2,000 nursing home beds and still have more than enough to meet its current and future needs. According to report authors, Indiana spends more of its Medicaid dollars on institutional care than most other states.

The panel's report is part of the legislature's broader look at lowering costs. Recommendations would need to be voted on by the General Assembly when it reconvenes in January.