Nursing home against proposed Medicaid changes

Reimbursement policy would change

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Adella Crosa is 97-years-old and immigrated from Cuba in the 40’s. She has difficultly both seeing and hearing. Arthritis limits her too. But her son said the level of care she gets at Bon Secours Maria Manor in St. Petersburg keeps her going.

“I’m convinced that if my mother were stuck at home in a room watching tv that she would have been gone by now,” said Peter Crosa.

But ownership at Bon Secours said a new proposal by the state senate on how nursing homes are reimbursed by Medicaid will tremendously hurt how they operate.

“Really this effects the frailest of our senior citizens,” said Kip Corriveau Mission Director for Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System

The Senate proposal would pay all nursing homes a flat rate from Medicaid up front. Right now they are reimbursed after expense reports are turned in and audited.

“Really its just way to shift money from high performing 4 and 5 star nursing homes which are often mission and faith based to 1-2 star nursing homes that which are often run by large, faceless, out of state corporations, said Corriveau.

The Florida Heath Care Association is among those supporting the Medicaid changes, saying the current system is antiquated and vulnerable to waste.

And while they say most nursing homes agree. Those at Bon Secours in St. Pete don’t.

“There would be a decline in the level of care, the recreational actives that they can put on. It’s endless, and all of that makes a difference with a lot of these folks that don’t get visited as long as my mother does,” said Crosa.

Peter hopes the senate’s plan never becomes law.

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