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New Jersey CNAs Ask Lawmakers for Medicaid Increase

June 20, 2013

New Jersey certified nursing assistants (CNAs) met with state legislators on June 6 to persuade them to add $25.9 million to the Medicaid budget for nursing homes.

The workers argued that the increase — which would be matched by federal funds — would help to better attract people to work in nursing homes.

In a unique joint effort between labor and management, representatives from Genesis HealthCare, New Jersey’s largest nursing home chain, joined the group of approximately 30 workers as they met with legislators in Trenton.

Representatives from Genesis say that the extra Medicaid funding will be necessary to prepare for the state’s shift to managed long-term care. 

Starting in July 2014, managed care insurance companies will begin setting reimbursement rates for Medicaid nursing homes. 

Laurence Lane, vice president for government relations at Genesis, told the Bergen County Record that “if the state wants managed care to work, they can’t afford a collapse in the nursing home structure, and the structure is very fragile right now.”

Currently, Medicaid rates are $36 per resident less than necessary to provide quality care, advocates told the Record.

More than 51,000 nursing aides provide care to an estimated 28,000 Medicaid beneficiaries residing in New Jersey nursing homes.

— by Matthew Ozga

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