Nursing Homes Will Receive $900M Over Four Years To Improve Care, Increase Reimbursements
California nursing homes will receive $900 million over the next four years to help improve care and increase reimbursements, with half the money generated by industry fees and the other half from federal Medicaid matching funds, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The money is intended only for homes with Medi-Cal beneficiaries. To help finance their contribution, nursing homes are expected to implement a "bed tax" to patients who pay out of pocket. In addition, the state will use a "quality assurance fee" of $7.31 per patient per day paid by 1,100 skilled nursing facilities to qualify for federal matching funds.
However, the Bee reports that there are "a lot of unknowns about how the new financing system will be implemented and whether it will result in improved care."
Charlene Harrington, national nursing home expert and professor at University of California-Berkeley, said there needs to be additional requirements to increase nursing home staff, instead of counting nursing assistants and activity coordinators as direct patient care providers. She also said enforcement of nursing home standards should be addressed.
In addition, some critics say the new fees will disproportionately affect private-pay residents of nursing homes and facilities that do not participate in Medi-Cal, the Bee reports (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 10/24).