Medicaid Cuts Threaten Nursing Homes in Florida

The JC FLorida reported on recent cuts on proposed cuts in state funding.

This week both the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee and the House Health care Council introduced their 2008-09 budgets. The Senate reduced nursing home funding $163 million and the House reduced funding $278 million.

Florida legislators approved landmark elder-care facility reform legislation in 2001 that mandated increased minimum staffing requirements, tougher regulation and quality improvement, and risk management programs. Since then, nursing home quality has steadily improved. Now, Medicaid funding cuts threaten this progress and the vulnerable elderly who have nowhere else to go.

Today, Florida’s nursing home staffing standards are one of the highest in the nation. The Florida Legislature has funded these required staffing increases, but the new Medicaid rates effective Jan. 1, 2008, cut funding by an annualized $75 million, eliminating the funding received for the Jan. 1, 2007 mandatory nurse and certified nurses’ aide staffing increases.

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