Chasing Millions In Medicaid Dollars, Hospitals Buy Up Nursing Homes
As many rural hospitals nationwide face serious financial difficulties, the funding enhancements pioneered in Indiana have been a key factor in helping to keep city and county hospitals economically viable, advocates say.
This article first appeared October 18, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.
The common area of the nursing home at Westminster Village North in Indianapolis, which has benefited from additional federal Medicaid funding. (Courtesy of Westminster Village North)
Westminster Village North, a nursing home and retirement community in Indianapolis, recently added 25 beds and two kitchens to speed food delivery to residents. It also redesigned patient rooms to ease wheelchair use and added Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions. This fall, it’s opening a new assisted living unit.
“We have seen amazing changes and created a more home-like environment for our residents,” said Shelley Rauch, executive director of the home.
The nursing home can afford these multimillion-dollar improvements partly because it has, for the past five years, been collecting significantly higher reimbursement rates from Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor. About half of its residents are covered by the program.