PHCA Commends Governor for 2014-15 Proposed Budget
HARRISBURG — Stuart H. Shapiro, M.D., President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management (PHCA/CALM), today said Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed 2014-15 General Fund budget continues to advance the administration’s commitment to ensure the state’s elderly have access to quality care.
Skilled nursing facilities care for the state’s sickest and frailest residents. Over the years, the acuity (sickness) level of residents has increased and funding for long-term care has not kept pace with the rising costs of care, especially for Medicaid residents. Two-thirds of all residents in skilled nursing facilities are on Medicaid.
Today, Dr. Shapiro commended Gov. Corbett for trying to close that funding gap during a difficult budget cycle.
“We commend the governor for recognizing the enormous challenges facing those who care for the sickest and frailest Pennsylvanians 24/7, 365 days a year. This funding support in a very tight budget demonstrates his commitment to do all he can for those with the greatest need,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Without continued support for skilled nursing centers in the DPW budget, seniors on Medicaid needing around-the-clock care could have no place to turn. This is a long budget process, and we look forward to working with his administration and the legislature to shore up Pennsylvania’s long-term care continuum.”
Currently Medicaid reimburses nursing facilities $26 a day less than the true cost of care. That shortfall has nearly doubled since 2007, when it totaled $13.23 per resident per day. That means nursing facilities today lose $9,500 annually for each Medicaid resident in their care. Unreimbursed costs to care for Medicaid residents in Pennsylvania are projected to exceed $470 million this fiscal year alone.
Gov. Corbett unveiled his proposed budget Tuesday before a joint session of the General Assembly. Lawmakers will begin debating the plan in hearings over the next several weeks and through this spring. A final budget must be enacted by June 30.