Nursing Home Cuts

Nursing homes around Florida will face a five percent cut in how much they're reimbursed to treat Medicaid patients this coming year. Administrators say they're doing a lot of work themselves like painting around the facility and they're also digging deep in their own pockets to buy certain items for the residents.

Residents at Pine Lake Nursing Home have become an extension of Yvonne Risker's family. Now, this family is facing a crisis; legislators have decided to cut Medicaid reimbursements for nursing homes.

Residents’ families are having to find funds to pay for some important services.

"We have much more of a difficult time to get doctors to come here to see our residents because they only have Medicaid to pay for services and the residents are the ones who ultimately suffer because they need the services that are no longer paid for by Medicaid," says Yvonne.

The reimbursement cut is forcing administrators to find creative ways to save money and that includes getting employees to be multitasking.

Catherine Krentz, an administrator at Pine Lakes, says, "Where in the past we might have a separate occupational therapy program for example, now in fact we are meeting this week to think about blending services of activity into one seamless operation.”

And it doesn't stop there. To save money administrators are hoping to get an industrial washer and dryer. Right now they're sending their linens off to a local store to get cleaned. They say having these new appliances here will save them up to a $1,000 a month.

Employees aren't the only ones pitching in. Residents have made jars with ingredients for cookies, hoping to sell them in hopes of buying outdoor furniture. Employees say they're doing everything they can to continue providing the same services the residents have had prior to the cut.

The residents are in need of certain items. They're looking for clothing, particularly men's clothing and shoes. They also would like magazines.

If you'd like to help, call Pine Lake Nursing Home at 948-4601.