Nursing home evictions possible with proposed state budget

Nursing home evictions possible with proposed state budget

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Over 30,000 elderly nursing home residents in Louisiana may be evicted due to proposed budget cuts to Medicaid.

The Louisiana Department of Health says it's beginning the process of notifying nursing home residents who may lose their Medicaid eligibility and the effects of this could impact more than just the residents evicted.

Massive cuts to the Department of Health are proposed in the house's plan.

"People tell us to cut the budget, cut the budget," said Representative Mark Abraham. "Well, we did exactly what people wanted us to do, we cut the budget and this is what a cut budget looks like, it's devastating."

The proposed budget eliminates the Medicaid Long Term Care Special Income Level Program Eligibility Group, which makes up approximately 80% of Medicaid residents receiving care in nursing facilities according to LDH.

Any resident with an income greater than $750 per month would no longer qualify for Medicaid.

"Where would they go, who will take care of them? That's what we have to think about if we don't contact our legislators and our governor to resolve this issue," said Michael Tugwell, Administrator for Resthaven Nursing Home.

Resthaven a facility under the Louisiana Nursing Home association.

The LNHA says, "The elimination of this program would force these senior and disabled residents out of Louisiana's nursing facilities overnight, which would lead to the closure of most, if not all, nursing facilities."

Representative Abraham says this is not a "fear factor". The cuts were made to show a need for revenue to be raised.

The Department of Health will hold a press conference tomorrow at 1 p.m.  to discuss the state's timeline for issuing notices this week.

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