McKnights: Return of 3-day stay, loss of nurse aides bearing down on nursing homes with PHE’s end

Providers whose patients are cut from Medicaid could turn to billing family members, but such relatives aren’t necessarily under any obligation to pay for their relatives’ care.

And then there are the states that have tied additional Medicaid funding to the PHE itself. In Texas, for instance, the state’s pick up of a $19 a day COVID bump is scheduled to end later this month.

The state did not increase rates during COVID and anything passed this legislative session won’t go into effect until September.

“If we lose PHE funding in May and are not made whole until September, that’s three-and-a half months when we are asked to balance caring for our most vulnerable seniors, paying our dedicated staff — and in the midst of the nation’s worst nursing shortage — recruiting and retaining qualified nurses,” said Samantha Milstead, executive director of operations for Focused Care at Midland, a skilled nursing community located in rural West Texas.

“If the federal government has decided the emergency is over, and our state legislators have recognized long-term care delivered well, with the goal of improving health outcomes and quality of life requires increased funding,  then they must acknowledge we need a safety net to keep us from plummeting into the gap,” Milstead told McKnight’s. “Abandoning long-term care providers is abandoning the residents we care for.”

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