Local Officials Warn Against Huge Cuts to Nursing Homes

"This is so unlike New York - a regressive policy like this."

Brendan Keany
October 09, 2019 - 1:30 pm

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

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BUFFALO (WBEN) - Several local officials visited the Garden Gate Health Care facility in Cheektowaga on Wednesday as a looming CMI cut is threatening care to thousands of nursing home residents.

The Department of Health is working to retroactively change the methodology used to calculate CMI adjustments, and these adjustments could mean huge cuts ($246 million) to nursing homes across the state.

"There was a change in the reimbursement formula in July, and it was a change to a formula that applied for many, many years, so nursing homes across New York State had come to rely on the way the formula worked," said Assemblywoman Monica Wallace. "The reason for the change was to increase accuracy and curb abuse - something that we all applaud. The problem, however, is that it's going to be applied retroactively, which puts the nursing homes at a disadvantage because they're going to be evaluated for reimbursement under a new formula using old data."

Essentially, Wallace is simply asking the Department of Health to "be fair." She added that changing the method is fine, and perhaps even necessary, but she wants nursing homes to have a chance to adjust to the methodology, and she doesn't want it applied retroactively.

Assemblyman Pat Burke echoed much of what Wallace had to say.

"This is so unlike New York - a regressive policy like this," said Burke. "There's no doubt that the formula needed to be reformed, but to do it in this way, it's easily predictable that this is potentially going to cause harm to individuals and people who need our help. It's not the way that New York does things, and it's not the way that most of the people in the assembly and the senate want to see things go."

Listen to the full press conference below:

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