Beth Macy wrote an eye-opening article in yesterday’s Roanoke Times newspaper. Her findings: Virginia ranks 47th in the nation in Medicaid funding of home care. Unlike states that have tried to shift funding toward home care and away from nursing homes, Virginia spends just 27 percent of its Medicaid budget on home health and personal care. By comparison, it spends 42 percent on nursing facilities, according to the National Center on Caregiving.
Federal dollars for Medicaid are portioned out to states according to per-capita income: The poorer a state’s residents, the more money the federal government gives it for Medicaid.
Virginia, the ninth-wealthiest state in the country, ranks 47th for Medicaid spending. West Virginia ranks 49th in per-capita income and 10th in the nation for Medicaid spending.
Most people would prefer to stay at home, with the assistance of nurse assistant or other healthcare provider. Why doesn’t Virginia provide more Medicaid funds for people to stay at home? How about the the long-established and well-funded nursing-home lobby. Do you think the fact that Virginia is home to the 24th largest corporate nursing home chain in America has anything to to do with the problem? That corporate giant nursing home – Medical Facilities of America.