SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Nursing homes across Illinois were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services wants to change how those facilities claim Medicare money.
Currently, nursing homes are reimbursed based on claims they file.
DHFS wants to change the rate structure to pay them based on the home’s overall quality of care and staffing levels.
Proponents of the change say it will improve nursing home care, but other healthcare groups, like the Health Care Council of Illinois, says now is not the time to make these types of changes.
“Their proposal would actually move money away from high Medicaid homes, which are precisely the ones that need more support,” said Healthcare Council of Illinois’ Matt Pickering.
Kelly Cunningham, deputy director for long term care for DHFS, countered, “This is not a report that can sit on a shelf and collect dust, the need to take action is now the issues we’re dealing with are urgent continuation of the status quo is not acceptable.”
The proposed change would also include a $345 million increase in reimbursement funds.