It’s no secret that Illinois is one of the many states that is staring down a rather sizeable budget deficit. Also, as many are aware, “entitlement reform” — issues looking at the manner in which programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are funded — has become a hot-button issue playing a prominent role in the national and statewide debates this election year.

A sizeable proposed cut to Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program , however, should give everyone pause and consider the ramifications that these issues entail.

An estimated two-thirds of Pennsylvania’s nursing home residents are Medicaid recipients, and the care for which causes nursing homes to lose, on average, almost $20 per resident per day. If, as the article suggests, a $102 million statewide Medicaid cut is passed, nursing homes statewide will almost surely have to cut back on staff, cancel planned renovations to facilities, and hinder new purchases.

As we’ve discussed, the under-staffing of nursing home facilities is one of the leading contributions to negligent acts regarding residents. When coupled with the vast potential for other instances of negligence that may likely result from the combination of outdated facilities and elderly residents, this looks like it has the potential for disastrous results.

This is why it is important, particularly in cash-strapped states such as Illinois, for everyone concerned about the health and safety of their loved ones residing in nursing homes to be particularly aware of the financial constraints placed on these facilities and how it may affect the standard of care that your loved ones receive when selecting a home that suits your needs.

Unfortunately, these problems may indeed be coming soon to nursing homes in Illinois. As reported, a budgetary proposal from Governor Quinn could potentially slash more than $2.7 billion from the State’s Medicaid obligations — a move that could have vast, sweeping effects on the Illinois nursing home industry. Essentially, these proposals would (amongst other things) lead to more restrictive requirements for Medicaid eligibility, which could have a severe effect on nursing home funding, seeing as Illinois’ reimbursement rates are already considered to be one of the lowest (if not the lowest) in the entire country.

One insider interviewed in the story referred to the proposed Medicaid cuts as “alarming” and noted the need for facilities to “adapt” to the potential gap in funding. Reading between the lines, “adapting” to an “alarming” gap in funding could very likely mean something along the lines of staffing cutbacks and canceled facility renovations, such as those that Pennsylvania facilities are facing. In any event, if this proposed cutback goes through, then it will certainly be cause for those seeking out facilities for their loved ones to be extra vigilant of not only the resources a nursing home possesses, but how a facility works with the tools that it has.

You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have anyquestions and to learn how we may be able to help you or your loved one who has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect – in particular, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.

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