Medicaid Shortfall Could Be Troble For Some Nursing Home Residents - - The News for South Mississippi

Medicaid Shortfall Could Be Troble For Some Nursing Home Residents

The people who own and operate nursing home facilities across the Coast are nervously waiting to see how the governor and state lawmakers work out the Medicaid budget.

Dunbar Village Nursing Facility cares for 60 elderly or indigent people. Nursing home officials say about half of those receive assistance from Medicaid.

"It would be an extraordinary tragedy if these people are put out of nursing homes," said Jill Mack, administrator of Dunbar Village.

Julie Cain is administrator of Woodland Village in Diamondhead and Hotel Reed nursing homes in Bay St. Louis. She says if Medicaid is not properly funded, a number of nursing homes across the state will go under.

"I think it could have a very serious impact, possibly devastating to our nursing homes across the state. Plus, having to discharge residents back home to their families who possibly couldn't provide the care they needed it could be very detrimental to our residents."

Dunbar Villages administrator Jill Mack says that ironically, Medicaid's need for more money stems from increases in services offered by the program.

"For example adding people under the age of 21 to the Medicaid rolls that's gone up in the last two years 33 percent and the total expenditures for prescription drugs has gone up 79 percent in that same period."

Mack says she's confident lawmakers will work out something.

"They wouldn't get re-elected if the results of what they have done kicks 13,000 elderly people out of the nursing homes. This is a critical situation, and I think it's truly important that all the factions work together to try to iron this thing out."

She says those who depend on Medicaid are now depending on lawmakers and the governor to find an answer.

Lawmakers will have a chance to override the governor's veto this Friday when they reconvene in Jackson. Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck says she believes there are enough votes in the house and senate to override the governor's veto.

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