Image: Bay County Medical Care Facility residents

Hundreds of Michigan nursing homes are worried as lawmakers are debating Medicaid cuts.

The cuts are part of changes that were made to the state budget. Nursing homes said their facilities could lose vital staff members.

Many health professionals are also questioning whether the cuts were made to support road funding.

“We’re looking possibly at close to a million dollars in cuts for our nursing home in Medicaid funding,” said Ruth Macalpine, administrator at Bay County Medical Care Facility.

Macalpine said the new state budget could hurt the bottom line and now significant changes may be coming to the nursing home.

“Cutting either positions that we budgeted for next year or possibly look at other supplies or building projects that we planned on doing the cut. The last thing we want to do is cut our current staffing,” Macalpine said.

She said she’s trying to ease the nerves of some concerned patients as well.

“Reassure them that they’ll still be getting the best quality of care that we’ve provided them in the past,” Macalpine said.

TV5 contacted state officials for their response to concerns raised at the medical care facility. Bob Wheaton, a spokesperson from Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services left the following quote:

This policy was modeled on a similar proposal that was in the Governor’s Executive Budget recommendation but was eliminated from the budget by the Legislature. This type of change to the rates for nursing homes is something that has been supported by MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) for a long time.

Macalpine fears that if the budget cuts stay in place, nursing homes across the state may be forced to close.

“We could stay open. But it’s going to be a drastic cut in a lot of levels of care in our facility,” Macalpine said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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