With just a week to go before a potential government shutdown, providers will be watching intently to see if a political stalemate will break to keep all federal services flowing uninterrupted.

If the two sides do not come to funding agreements by next Friday, an estimated one-fourth of government units could soon feel the pinch. While the Department of Health and Human Services, under which major long-term care funders Medicaid and Medicare fall, would be among the three-fourths of government agencies not severely affected (at least initially), the showdown could send ripples through the economy. Markets across the world were already reacting unfavorably to the uncertainty late this week.

Departments standing to get hit the hardest should no compromise be struck by Dec. 21 include Justice, Transportation, Homeland Security and Agriculture.