Cuts force Ohio to shed 2,800 nursing home jobs

In response to this past October’s 11.1 percent Medicare funding reduction coupled with almost 6 percent in state Medicaid cuts, Ohio nursing homes have shed or plan to layoff a combined 2,800 jobs, according to a survey of providers conducted by the Ohio Health Care Association and the Academy of Senior Health Sciences. Provider groups are now labeling the state “ground zero” for SNF job losses.

Eighty percent of the losses are to direct care staff, according to the survey, which was discussed Wednesday during a conference call between Ohio media and provider associations. The associations are urging the state’s congressional delegation to phase in the Medicare regulation over a three-year period.

The Medicare payment change reduced Ohio seniors’ Medicare-financed SNF care by $275.1 million for FY 2012—the sixth highest reduction nationally, according to the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, which participated in the media call.

“Unfortunately, Ohio has become ‘ground zero’ on a national basis in terms of reported SNF job losses resulting from the federal Medicare regulation and state Medicaid cuts,” said Alliance President Alan G. Rosenbloom.

The Ohio layoffs are consistent with a previous Avalere Health report commissioned by the Alliance in November that estimated up to 20,000 SNF jobs will be cut nationally in light of the Medicare funding reduction.

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