Why Glaring Quality Gaps Among Nursing Homes Are Likely To Grow If Medicaid Is Cut
If the feared reductions come to fruition, states would likely respond by either lowering their payment rates or restricting whom they cover and for how long.
This article first appeared September 28, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.
By Jordan Rau
Nursing homes that rely the most on Medicaid tend to provide the worst care for their residents — not just the people covered by the program but also those who pay privately or have Medicare coverage.
Despite the collapse of the latest Senate effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans are still keen on shrinking the amount of Medicaid money Washington sends states.
Down the line, this would create problems for the nation’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, two-thirds of whom are covered by the state-federal health care program for low-income and disabled people.
Medicaid already pays less than other forms of insurance. As a result, nursing homes make more than 10 percent on Medicare residents, but lose about 2 percent on the rest of their residents because so many have care paid for by Medicaid.
If the feared reductions come to fruition, states would likely respond by either lowering their payment rates or restricting whom they cover and for how long. And the quality of care, experts say, would deteriorate further.
These four charts, based on a Kaiser Health News analysis of ratings from the federal government’s Nursing Home Compare website, show how care suffers in nursing homes where Medicaid is the dominant payer for residents.