SD Medicaid underpayments reach record levels

By the South Dakota Health Care Association

Across South Dakota, skilled nursing centers are being significantly impacted by historic Medicaid underpayments.

According to a study performed by Eljay, LLC, and released by the American Health Care Association, South Dakota was underfunded by $30.05 per Medicaid patient per day.

This is higher than the national average of $22.34 per Medicaid patient per day. Of South Dakota’s 6,300 skilled nursing facility residents, approximately 57 percent rely on Medicaid to pay for their care.

“This study sheds a bright light on the ongoing struggle to continue to provide the care that our elderly and disabled South Dakota citizens expect and deserve,” said South Dakota Health Care Association’s executive director, Mark B. Deak.

The annual study, titled “A Report on Shortfall in Medicaid Funding for Nursing Center Care,” tracks trends in Medicaid payments to nursing care providers.

The report projects that Medicaid underpayments to providers will exceed $7 billion nationally for 2012. This is the largest shortfall reported nationally and in South Dakota since the inception of the study in 1999.

State-by-state Medicaid underpayment data is available on the American Health Care Association website.

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