Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), representing nearly 700 nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Florida, released the following statement in response to the Florida House budget that proposes to reduce Medicaid funding to nursing home care by 2%, which amounts to an $80 million reduction for nursing homes on an annual basis.
The statement is attributable to Emmett Reed, FHCA Chief Executive Officer.
“Florida’s nursing home providers are facing a significant economic crisis, caused by the combination of increased costs related to COVID-19 and chronic Medicaid underfunding. While we recognize that the Legislature must make tough decisions this session, we don’t believe the budget should be balanced on the backs of nursing center residents and their frontline caregivers, who have already sacrificed so much over this past year. The high cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and staff support, as well as declining occupancy rates, have depleted our care centers’ budgets. The Medicaid cut released by the House today reduces funding to nursing center residents by $5 per patient per day, or nearly $125,000 per facility per year. While nursing centers received significant funding from the federal government over the past year, precautionary measures necessitated by COVID-19 have already depleted those funds, and the rising costs of keeping residents safe and well cared for will continue even as the number of cases declines.”
“We look forward to the opportunity to work with Chair Avila and members of the House on a budget that better prioritizes nursing centers residents and the facilities that care for them. With Florida’s growing older population, it’s that critical our nursing centers have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic, strengthen their workforce, upgrade their aging physical structures, and continue implementing solutions to ensure seniors have access to high-quality long term care. ”
ABOUT THE FLORIDA HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION
The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation that serves nearly 1,000 members and represents more than 500 long-term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and subacute care, short-term rehab, assisted living, and other services to the elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development, and financial stability of its members. As Florida’s first and largest advocacy organization for long-term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about the Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.