State Rep. Fee visits Denver Nursing Center

By on March 27, 2013

Pennsylvania State Representative Mindy Fee visited with residents of the Denver Skilled Nursing Center on March 22.

Pennsylvania State Representative Mindy Fee (R-Lancaster County) visited the Denver Skilled Nursing Center on March 22 for a tour of the facility and to meet the residents and staff.

Representative Fee saw first-hand how Denver’s caregivers strive to meet its mission to provide compassionate, quality care and improved quality of life to some of Lancaster County’s most sick and frail elderly.

Administrator Susan DiGiacomo talked with Representative Fee about how years of chronic Medicaid shortfalls — which is the difference between what the state pays for the care of Medicaid residents and what the real cost of that care actually is — are now being combined with drastic federal cuts to Medicare, making the mission of long-term care facilities increasingly difficult to achieve, and threatening Pennsylvania’s safety net for the elderly.

While Governor Corbett’s budget includes a proposed two percent increase in funding for long-term care providers, the system remains significantly underfunded. Pennsylvania skilled nursing centers are forced to absorb an average loss of $26.26 a day or $9,500 a year for each Medicaid resident in their facility. With two-thirds of all skilled nursing center residents on Medicaid, this adds up to a substantial shortfall for each facility. The gap between payment for care and the actual cost of care has widened by 36 percent since 2011, according to Eljay, LLC.

Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities, which previously helped cover the Medicaid losses, have been cut nearly $400 million over the past few years and federal sequestration, if left intact and unmitigated by Congress, threatens to slash an additional $37 million from the annual Medicare rate for skilled nursing centers.

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