Nursing homes are a vital component of senior care
As our state’s population ages, the demand for nursing home care has increased, especially for those facing acute health challenges. Some 44,000 elderly and disabled New Jerseyans currently live nursing homes, relying on the type of 24/7 care that only skilled nursing facilities can provide. Comprehensive nursing home care is costly, but critical to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our state’s senior population.
Financial strain from rising costs and cuts to Medicaid
The median cost for a shared room in a nursing home in New Jersey is over $128,000 per year. The large majority of New Jersey families with a loved one needing skilled nursing care cannot afford this significant cost out of pocket, so over 60% rely on Medicaid.
Modest increases to Medicaid funding for nursing home residents over the past few years have not kept pace with rising costs of care, nor made up for three recent budget cycles where funding was slashed by more than $170 million.
The difference between what it costs to provide care to a nursing home resident and the reimbursement that a facility receives from the Medicaid program is $47 per resident per day. This is the 3rd highest deficiency in the nation and amounts to a total industry shortfall of $439 million per year.
It’s time for NJ to invest in compassionate care for seniors
The most vulnerable residents of our state who require round-the-clock nursing care are counting on state lawmakers to ensure adequate Medicaid funding. Skilled nursing facilities are an integral part of our state’s long-term care system and depend on state and federal resources to provide care.
It’s time that New Jersey raise Medicaid reimbursement rates so that nursing home residents and their families can have peace of mind that sufficient resources are available to ensure the highest quality of care possible.