The nursing home industry’s reliance on public New Jersey Medicaid and Medicare money makes it a challenge to staff appropriately, says owners and operation of both non-profit and for-profit nursing homes in the state. Although the quality of care in nursing homes has gone up nationally, owners warn that “it has the potential to go down.” Owners point out that while caring for a Medicaid patient in a nursing home costs the facility an average of $210 a day in New Jersey, Medicaid actually pays less than that per day per resident. This funding gap is a problem for nursing homes nationwide. Facilities have historically turned to Medicare and private pay patients to make up for the financial shortfall, but Medicare’s rates are slated to be cut, and private pay patients are disappearing.
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