Wisconsin nursing homes closing as costs rise - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin nursing homes closing as costs rise

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Madison (AP) - Nursing home providers say Medicaid reimbursement rates may have contributed to an increase in nursing home closures in Wisconsin last year.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says 10 long-term care facilities closed in Wisconsin last year, compared to six closures in 2016.

Providers told Wisconsin Public Radio that reimbursement rates aren't keeping pace with the cost of providing care.

Those reimbursement rates are impacting facilities' ability to recruit and retain workers. John Vander Meer is the executive director of the Wisconsin Health Care Association. He said an industry survey of almost 690 providers found 11,500 unfilled caregiver jobs across the state in 2016.

The state's current budget will raise reimbursement rates for skilled nursing facilities by 2 percent each year. Providers are hoping to see a larger discussion about reforming nursing home payments.

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