Susan Cameron is the lobbyist for the Iowa Health Care Association.
The group is pressing for a reset of the base level of reimbursement for nursing homes that care for poor elderly patients who have their stay in the home paid by the Medicaid program. State lawmakers approved a partial boost last year, about half of what the governor recommended.
Locally, we talked to Prairie View Home in Sanborn, where we discovered that the Iowa figures for 2013, the most recent years for which such figures are available, showed that the cost of providing care to the average Medicaid patient was $12.29 per day HIGHER than the amount Medicaid reimbursed the institution, forcing the homes to increase charges for private pay residents to make up the deficit.
Nursing facilities are asking state officials for 15-million more dollars to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates again. Cameron says the reset is critical as the state moves Medicaid patients into managed care plans over the next two years.
The Branstad Administration has estimated the state will save 51 million dollars by having private companies manage care for the 560-thousand Medicaid patients in Iowa. Thirty-four percent of that estimated savings comes from anticipated reductions in payments to Iowa nursing homes.