I write to highlight a critical and timely issue affecting the care of seniors and individuals with disabilities in our community.
In collaboration with like-minded statewide organizations, Rochester’s nursing home leaders, including myself, are urgently calling for reforms to New York’s nursing home Medicaid reimbursement policies. Considering Governor Hochul’s newly proposed budget calling for $1 billion in cuts for Medicaid funding, I am even more alarmed on behalf of our elderly.
Except for a modest increase in 2022, Upstate New York nursing homes have not seen a reimbursement increase in 15 years; the current rate covers only 50-60% of actual costs. We strongly urge Governor Hochul for a $510 million investment in the 2024-25 Executive Budget, coupled with a pledge to reform the system by 2025. This is crucial to addressing the $810 million annual funding gap in Medicaid reimbursement, impacting 97,000 residents statewide.
Currently, NY’s Medicaid program, the primary payer for nursing home care in the state, falls significantly short in meeting annual costs, exacerbating staff recruitment and retention challenges and impacting access to quality care.
As the third-generation owner and president of Hurlbut Care Communities with 11 facilities, I can state without reservation that insufficient Medicaid funding hampers our ability to provide quality care and admit new residents.
Since 2019, a reduction of 5,600 nursing home beds compounds the challenge for those seeking quality care. We implore Governor Hochul to address these issues promptly. Medicaid reimbursement reforms are vital to ensuring access to quality care, supporting staff, and meeting the demands of our aging population.
President, Hurlbut Care Communities
The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Published letters are not edited, and the views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Beacon or its staff. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected].