I hate to say it, but nursing home care may get worse in Virginia.

With our state in a serious budget crisis, Medicaid spending will likely be cut.

For illustration purposes only, lets say the following is true:

Granny, age 72, needs skilled care because she is diabetic and has lost her right leg below the knee. Granny needs to stay in a nursing home and because she has no assets, she qualifies for Medicaid.

The nursing home will take care of Granny but charges $145 a day. Medicaid agrees to pay Granny $145 a day. At this rate, there are 4 nurses on the night shift, meals cost the facility $3 a day to prepare, and the building has not been painted in years. Everyone wishes there was more money to fix up the place, but not this year.

Budget cuts roll in, and Granny’s Medicaid will now only pay $115 a day. If all the other residents (104 of them) have the same coverage with Medicaid, then the nursing home will be down $1138800 a year. (My math – $30 less a day, 104 people x 365 days in 1 year).

YUP – a $30 a day payment cut means the NH will have decreased income of $1,113,800 a year. How will they continue to operate? Where will they cut costs? Simple. They will have to cut

Your night nurses just went down to 1 full time and 1 part time. This will happen because there are NO minimum staffing requirements in Virginia nursing homes. Granny’s meals will now be cut to $1.25 a day – and her care will get WORSE AND WORSE.

Sad but true folks. Budget cuts in Virginia will almost guarantee more nursing negligence and malpractice for those who are not private pay.

This is not a judgment, or even a political argument. It is just a fact.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.