Maryland’s Medicaid program underfunds the actual cost of providing skilled nursing care by $64.8 million annually

A national Medicaid study projects Maryland's Medicaid program underfunds the actual cost of providing skilled nursing care by $64.8 million annually. Maryland's long-term care leaders today expressed deep concern for the impact potential further cuts to Medicaid would have on the state's poor and elderly.  

"The gap between the actual cost of providing skilled nursing and rehabilitation care and what Medicaid pays continues to widen," warned Joseph DeMattos, president of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM). "Our lawmakers in Annapolis must carefully consider the substantial shortfall in funding that long-term care providers are already operating in when making any further policy decisions about the future of our state's Medicaid program."

The report, authored by Eljay — a nationally recognized expert in long term care — finds that Maryland is projected to be underfunded by $11.73 per Medicaid patient per day. Maryland's long-term care Medicaid budget has already been cut by more than $180 million in the past three fiscal years. Significant further cuts are not sustainable by providers already facing severe daily shortfalls as described in today's report.

The report highlights the important role other funding sources – particularly Medicare – play in filling the financial gaps resulting from inadequate Medicaid payments. "Approximately 70 percent of Maryland's nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to fund their care, making it the largest payer of skilled nursing care in the state," added DeMattos. "It is absolutely critical that Medicaid payments be protected from further cuts."

To access the full report "A Report on Shortfalls in Medicaid Funding for Nursing Home Care," please visit www.ahcancal.org.

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