New NGA/NASBO Fiscal Survey of States Spotlights Ongoing Fragility of Nation's SNF Sector With State Budget Revenues Expected to be 7.9% Below 2008 Levels, AQNHC Says Governors Need Continued Medicaid Flexibility
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the new fiscal survey of states released today by the National Governors Association (NGA) and National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) finds state budget revenues expected to be 7.9% below 2008 levels for this fiscal year, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC) said continued state Medicaid funding woes, combined with federal Medicare reductions for seniors' skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, contributes significantly to the ongoing fragility of the nation's second largest health facility employer.
"The NGA and NASBO findings are yet more bad news for the nation's SNF patients as state Medicaid funding remains weak, and as providers and patients brace for sequestration cuts in the New Year and nearly $4 billion Medicare funding reductions in FY 2014," warned Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance. "This is yet one more reason why Congress must allow states to retain the flexibility in Medicaid programs necessary to help narrow facility funding gaps caused by Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts."
The Alliance leader noted SNFs already face $65 billion in Medicare funding reductions over the next ten years, and that 40 states have either cut or frozen SNF Medicaid payments rates since 2009 (Source for both stats: Avalere).
Rosenbloom said the Alliance membership remains extremely concerned about attempts to scale back Governors' ability to use so-called "provider assessments" to generate additional federal resources to help meet their most vulnerable constituents' long term and post acute care needs.
"Limiting provider assessments will shift yet more Medicaid costs onto state budgets at a time the nation's Governors are already struggling to fund a wide range of other federal mandates," he continued. "With 80 percent of SNF patients dependent upon Medicare or Medicaid funding for their care – the sector in general and our workforce and patients in particular are especially sensitive to the cumulative negative impact of Medicaid cuts at the state level, and Medicare cuts from Washington."
The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care is a coalition of 10 leading post-acute and long term care organizations providing Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care in approximately 1,400 facilities, in 44 states nationwide.
SOURCE Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care