Virginia’s nursing homes want state legislators to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates, but Governor McDonnell says Virginia cannot afford to. It’s likely to be a growing problem for this year’s General Assembly — and those that follow in coming years — as more state residents join Medicaid rolls. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/01-16-Nursing-Homes-Wrap-WEB-WEB.mp3|titles=01-16 Nursing Homes Wrap-WEB-WEB]There are about 28,000 Virginians in nursing homes; many are on Medicaid, the government program that pays medical costs for residents with limited income or resources. Virginia pays about half the cost.
Governor McDonnell proposes holding the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates steady in the next budget cycle, but nursing homes say they have coped with several years of unchanged reimbursement rates while their own costs keep rising. They say a continued freezing of reimbursement rates jeopardizes many homes’ ability to operate profitably and remain open. At the very least, they say, it puts about 100 current Virginia nursing home jobs in jeopardy.