We at Christ the King Manor care deeply for the people we serve in this area. That’s why I am writing to inform our readers that continued Medicaid funding shortages are making it increasingly difficult on nonprofit nursing homes in Pennsylvania.
Funding for Medicaid has been flat funded again in Gov. (Tom) Wolf’s latest budget proposal, marking the fourth time in five years. In fact, the commonwealth has averaged increasing Medicaid rates by barely 1 percent per year over the last 15 years. Meanwhile, the cost of providing care has increased by 33 percent.
Most nonprofits rely on Medicaid to care for countless seniors. But Pennsylvania’s shortage has meant that nursing homes lost $631 million in 2017-2018 alone. In Clearfield County, our loss was determined to be $3,750,879 for our four nursing homes. As a state with one of the oldest populations in the nation, our communities simply cannot continue to cope with such losses. These losses mean that we find it very difficult to attract or retain the best workers or invest in quality of life enhancements for our residents.
Let’s do right by our seniors and give them the care they deserve by giving our nursing home facilities the resources they desperately need. The first steps to overcome years of chronic underfunding is for Pennsylvania lawmakers to insert a 2.8 percent funding increase for the upcoming state budget, and provide an additional $17 million to fund the nonpublic medical assistance day one incentive payment — a program created by lawmakers to protect senior care and necessary access to that care.
We want to provide the best possible care for our residents. It’s time for the commonwealth to provide the basic funding support to do just that.
— Sam Zaffuto, administrator
Christ The King Manor