Nursing home operators call proposed plan to change Medicaid 'scandalous'

Ken Amaro is on your side. 4/3/2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A plan to change how nursing homes are reimbursed from Medicaid has many nursing homes very upset.

"It is truly scandalous," said Elliot Palevsky. Palevsky is CEO Emeritus of River Garden Senior Services. Fifty-two percent of its clients now receive Medicaid-state funding.

"They're about to switch tens and tens of millions from nursing home that spent money on care to those who don't," he said. He said Senate Bill 712, the proposal for a Prospective Payment System, will impact the level of care in nursing homes.

"It is taking dollars mean for public welfare for the indigent and frail and elderly," he said, "and turning it into corporate welfare."

River Garden has promised its current clients they'll be taken care, regardless of the outcome, but if the bill does become law,Palevsky said change is inevitable.

"Folks coming here will have a harder time getting in," he said, "we will have to shrink that number of people on the Medicaid side."

Who's affected? In his words anyone and everyone whose loved one is using Medicaid for long term care. He said forget the stereotypes of who is using Medicaid.

"People think of Medicaid as those people out there, poor people. These are our teachers, our clerks and our pharmacists," he said.

River Garden may lose about $250,000 - for others it is much more.

"There are other agencies that are going to lose between 500,000 and a million dollars," he said.

He said these are highly successful agencies; five star rated facilities. 'This should be something everybody cares about," he said.

Palevsky said this payment plan has the potential to turn back the hands of time on nursing home care. "We could be going back to the dark ages," he said, "we sure can."

So he's sounding the alarm; he wants you to let lawmakers know this is not the right approach. "This is an issue that touches each and every one of us directly," he said.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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