SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- A widening gap between costs and Medicaid reimbursements is causing a crisis for Illinois nursing homes, according to a new report from the Health Care Council of Illinois.
Analyses in the report found a $519 million annual shortfall between the actual costs of care and state Medicaid funding nursing homes. It also points out that many reimbursement calculations are based on data from 1999 and 2004.
Executive Director of the HCCI Donna Ginther said that threatens the survival of facilities around the state, and she said at least four have already closed in 2019.
“I hear on Fridays ‘I don’t know how I’m going to make my payroll on Wednesday,’” Ginther said. “Many of them, their payrolls are quite high because they’re employing three shifts of people.”
Closure of nursing homes can have deep impacts for residents and communities, Ginther said.
“There are communities all over the state that, if they lose a nursing home, they’re going to drive an hour or more to see a loved one, which is going to reduce access and reduce contact,” she said. “It’s critical for an elderly person in that bed to feel that connection with their community and with their family.”
Jordan Abudayyeh, spokesperson for Gov. JB Pritzker's administration, had a statement about the issue:
"The governor is committed to ensuring everyone in Illinois has access to care they need. As the administration works to implement the minimum wage increases and a fair tax system, we will be reviewing all Medicaid rates and engaging stakeholders through the budget process this spring. In addition, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services plans to undergo a review of the nursing home rate structure this summer."