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Official Warns That Planned Medicaid Cuts Could Endanger Florida Nursing Home Residents

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on September 15, 2011

Current President and CEO of the American Health Care Association and former Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson cautioned Floridians recently about the effects that planned cuts in Medicaid could have on our state’s nursing home residents. Parkinson recently delivered his address at the Florida Health Care Association conference in Orlando and echoed some of the concerns that Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham has also had regarding how the cuts could endanger seniors in our state’s assisted living facilities. Parkinson told attendees that the average profit margin for a nursing home in Florida is two percent. This is why the planned cuts to Medicare and Medicaid from federal and state agencies could harm seniors as few of them have private insurance to supplement the costs of their care.

Currently, residents in many of Florida’s nursing homes are experiencing cuts in care due to a $230 million or 6.5 percent cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates to nursing homes. Beginning on October 1, the federal government will reduce Medicare payments to nursing homes by another 11.1 percent, which will result in a reduction of $387 million to nursing homes.

Most of the nursing homes in our state are for-profit enterprises, and a cut in state and federal assistance won’t come out of their coffers. It will surely result in fewer services for seniors and reduced quality of care. Mr. Parkinson didn’t come out and say it, but he implies that these reductions are also likely to increase the risks that nursing home residents could suffer from abuse and neglect. Nursing home administrators will probably be forced to cut staff and hire people who are unqualified to provide care to nursing home residents. Staff cuts, when combined with less qualified workers and reduced oversight, have proven to be a recipe for increased incidents in nursing home abuse and patient neglect.

It is everyone’s responsibility to report abuse whenever they witness or suspect it. If you suspect that someone is suffering nursing home abuse, call local police and report it as quickly as possible. If someone in your family has suffered some form of nursing home abuse and you want to take action and learn more about your legal options, call Orlando nursing home abuse attorney James O. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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