Jensen Calls for Medicaid Increase for Nursing Homes

Long-term care in New York is in a state of crisis – and to prevent more damage from being done, it is critically important that the state give an appropriate level of support to our nursing homes who continue to work tirelessly to protect residents from COVID-19, and that support begins with an immediate increase of nursing home Medicaid rates. Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes have been suffering from staffing shortages, coupled with harmful and costly mandates, and unprecedented and inappropriate cuts to Medicaid. Now, nursing homes across our state are experiencing massive financial losses, and many are being forced to close units, reduce admissions and in some cases, declare bankruptcy.

Today, Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R,C,I-Greece) is calling on Gov. Hochul to act by immediately restoring the $168 million that was cut from nursing homes during the pandemic and increasing the Medicaid rate to nursing homes before the end of the 2021 calendar year.Substantial investment is needed to enable nursing homes to cover costs and pay competitive wages to recruit and retain the direct-care staff that is needed now more than ever. With over 70% of all nursing home residents covered by Medicaid, it is an embarrassment that New York has a reimbursement rate that is among the worst in the nation. Additionally, better support of nursing homes will allow them to get back to taking on new admissions and help hospitals free up space needed for acute care and elective surgeries

“As we hear time and time again from leadership in Albany, public health should be our top priority, yet, we are asking nursing homes to do more with less. Our state has not taken appropriate action to address the imminent long-term care crisis for some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Jensen. “Not only is the care of our seniors in jeopardy, but so are the jobs of thousands of health care heroes who have provided compassionate care throughout the hardships of the pandemic.”

“With a new governor leading our state, I can only hope Gov. Hochul doesn’t repeat the mistakes of her predecessor in neglecting our state’s nursing home residents, cutting the resources of care providers, and ignoring the fiscal reality of the dangers of underfunding long-term care. The time to act is now, before it’s too late,” Jensen concluded.