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Nursing homes facing financial crisis during pandemic

(WCJB)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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We've seen industries across the board financially impacted by COVID-19. Leaders in the nursing home and elder care industry say they're not only struggling but also facing a lack of support from the state.

According to the Florida Health Care Association, with an overwhelming increase in need for personal-protective-equipment in nursing homes, the demand for supplies has the potential to increase costs up to over 100%. On top of that, some communities are needing to hire additional staff while occupancy is taking a major hit.

"Any time that business volume slows down, companies and firms are going to feel the effect of that. Then, you have the added problem with all the cost that has been involved in procuring the face masks, face shields and all the protective equipment. It is all amounting to a big expense," Ruben Ramos, CEO of Touching Hearts At Home in Gainesville, said.

The estimated total revenue loss? Up to $57 billion.

"Not to mention the fact that sometimes [the supplies] are hard to source out," Ramos said.

Just under 60% of Florida nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to cover the cost of their nursing center care. Right now, the centers are losing over $27 each day to care for each Medicaid resident.

The 2020 Legislature did include more than a $28 million Medicaid funding increase for nursing center care in the 2020-2021 state budget. Governor DeSantis will have the choice of protecting that when he signs the state budget before July 1st.

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