Study looks at economic impact of nursing and rehabilitation centers

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Maryland’s nursing and rehabilitation centers directly employ almost 36,000 people, and the daily patient cost is substantially less than for patients receiving similar services in hospitals, according to an economic analysis report released this week by the Sage Policy Group Inc.

The report – commissioned by the Health Facilities Association of Maryland – seeks to make the case that the governor and members of the General Assembly should not look at making additional cuts to Medicaid’s budget for long-term care.

“Our study shows that skilled nursing facilities in Maryland offer high quality, low cost services for the unique population they serve, as well as their substantial economic contributions and significant cost savings to Maryland taxpayers,” said Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO of Sage. “In the current budget environment, Maryland lawmakers may be tempted to shrink the Medicaid budget for long-term care.

“However, our research shows that would cost the citizens of Maryland dearly in terms of reduced quality of care for many Maryland’s most poor and vulnerable residents, diminished savings in those categories in which skilled nursing facilities provide high quality care at significantly lower costs than hospitals, and result in reduced employment in facilities,” Basu said.

The report found that for the typical patient, a skilled nursing facility costs an average of $330 per day, while the costs for a patient receiving similar services in Maryland’s hospitals are an average of $846 per day. The state’s skilled nursing facilities treated an average of 25,000 patient per day in 2009.

According to the report, the gap between the actual cost of nursing and rehabilitative care, and the money provided by Maryland’s Medicaid program, is $64.8 million per year.

To read the full report from Sage, click here.

To read coverage of the study by the Gazette Newspapers, click here.

To read coverage of the study by MarylandReporter.com, click here.
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