A Lack of Medicaid Funds Is Causing Nursing Homes to Struggle

By: Mark Lindner
By: Mark Lindner

With a new generation entering retirement age, nursing homes are facing an increased demand for their services. And while they have been able to keep up with the demand so far, late Medicaid payments from the state have some homes wondering how much longer they can do it.

"Our payroll is every two weeks so we have to borrow money for that, expenses, utilities, all the costs any facility that is caring for individuals has," says Carol Davis, CEO of Pinecrest Community.

Davis doesn't think it's fair that the nursing homes are shouldering the financial burden.

"Those bills have to be met and paid on time unlike the state," she says.

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) says the problem starts with the state budget.

"The budget so far has got in excess of five hundred million dollars worth of pork projects in there, most of it in Chicago," Syverson says.

He adds that borrowing money to pay the bills only adds to the problem.
"All of that money is going to have to be paid back, its just going to cost us more with interest," Syverson says.

Pinecrest residents don't understand why the state simply can't live up to its end of the bargain.

"I don't see why the residents or relatives of the residents should have to pay for it when the state of Illinois should be doing it," says Pinecrest resident Bob Faulkner

Syverson agrees and says cutting financial corners could cost the public.

"They have to either try to cost shift it out to private paid patients or it ends up meaning they don't get the kinds of services these individuals deserve," Syverson says.

Davis says she has complained to the state before, going down to Springfield with other nursing home officials to protest. She said the only thing that's changed since then is how long it takes Pinecrest to get their money, which she says has become even longer.

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