The future of providing necessary care and support for New York seniors is a hotly debated topic. The analysis is taking place everywhere, including at the local level. As frequently discussed, one of the primary battlegrounds is that of county-run nursing homes. Long a bastion of care for residents, these facilities are being shuttered by some and transferred to private owners.
But not all New York communities are giving up on the idea of publicly-owned long-term care facilities. One area taking a cautious approach is Genesee County which recently commissioned a committee to study various aspects of long-term care in the community to determine the best course of action with regard to the current county nursing home.
NY Elder Care – A Closer Look
As discussed late last month by The Daily News Online, the county’s review of their current options was “made necessary by changes made by New York state in the long-term care fiscal and programmatic environment. Most critically, New York state is mandating that long-term care facilities begin moving to a managed care model.”
The push by the state toward managed care is part of the overall goal of lowering Medicaid costs. The New York Medicaid program pays for a bulk of nursing home stays, and the costs are significant. This Medicaid efficiency strategy will undoubtedly drive the future of long-term care in the state. As changes to the program spur local officials to re-consider how they run their nursing homes–if at all.
The Genesee County facility in Batavia is experiencing the same financial struggles as similar county-run facilities in New York. According to the report, the facility has operated at a net loss over $2.5 million each of the past two years. In total, the home has cost the community nearly $12 million in the last five years.
The shortalls are almost always rooted in Medicaid reimbursement discrepancies. The New York Medicaid program reimburses facilities around $170 per day per Medicaid resident. But administrators of these homes, particularly county-run homes, argue that the actual cost of caring for these residents is around $270. The county must then use other local resources to make up the difference, resulting in the annual operating losses.
NY Elder Law Attorney
For help qualifying for the NY Medicaid program or learning about your other long-term care options, be sure to contact an elder law attorney today. The need for close care can arise unexpectedly, and so it is important to put a legal plan in before it is too late.