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Pennsylvania Nursing Homes Brace for Medicare Cuts

Nursing homes and long-term care homes in Pennsylvania anxiously await this week’s decision on the across-the-board federal budget cuts, as it could mean that they might lose some Medicare funding.

According to an article on the York Daily Record (ydr.com), the reductions would result from a proposed 2 percent cut in Medicare funding, which would amount to $11 billion this year. The cuts would most directly affect hospitals, primary care clinics, other specialty providers, and nursing homes, which receive Medicare funding. Most nursing home revenue comes from private funds (or state Medicaid coverage once those funds are exhausted) during the first 100 days of long-term care, patients over age 65 are eligible for Medicare coverage.

Although a 2 percent cut does not sound like much, it can mean alot for nursing homes and skill nursing facilities that are usually on tight budgets. According to the CEO of one Westmoreland County senior care home, “It could equate to two part-time workers, or a full-time position.”

Nonprofit nursing homes in Pennsylvania are bracing for the worst. “The unfortunate reality is that its going to further strain our members,” said a senior vice president of public policy at LeadingAge PA, a statewide senior care trade group.

We’ll be anxious, as well, to see if the budget cuts can be averted by Congress.