Hospitals across the country are paying more than $9 billion in medical expenses, including $6.7 billion to maintain nursing homes and $4.7 million to maintain their assets, according to a POLITICO analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
This comes as some hospitals have begun to see their assets dwindle amid soaring Medicare premiums and a lack of funding.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the average nursing home costs $4,200 to maintain, with $3,200 paid for by Medicaid and Medicare.
Hospitals are also paying more for equipment, nurses and doctors to keep the facilities running, as well as for services like nursing home day care, home care and day care support, which typically come from Medicaid.
Hospices also are spending more on nursing home care to stay afloat.
In some cases, the money is used to keep a nursing home from closing.
Hospice advocates say this is one of the reasons nursing homes have historically been the most expensive places to live.
“We are seeing more and more nursing homes closing and we are seeing many of these facilities that are operating as non-profits that are taking in the revenue of the non-profit and paying the expenses,” said Sarah Schoen, director of advocacy at the National Association of Nursing Home Executives.
“This is the trend that is happening with hospitals.
We are seeing these facilities closing.”
Hospitals, nursing homes, and the nation’s elderly are among the nation’t least likely to receive any government support to keep up with rising health care costs.
The health care law required states to provide financial assistance to nursing homes.
Some states, including Massachusetts, are using a combination of tax incentives, loan guarantees and public funding to help them meet costs.
In the meantime, the health care system is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, and millions of elderly Americans are struggling to stay alive.
Hospitaries have long been at the center of the countrys health care crisis, but it took decades of political maneuvering to get a federal subsidy that would help them stay afloat for the millions of Americans who live in nursing homes or have a physical disability.
But the ACA gave states the ability to help these facilities stay afloat financially and with public funding, even if the state doesn’t have the money to provide the same level of care.
Hospits have been a hotbed of health care policy debate in recent years, as many Americans have become more comfortable with living in nursing home homes.
As of July 2017, there were 7.3 million seniors living in public nursing homes nationwide, according the most recent data available from the federal Centers for Health Statistics.
Some critics say that’s not enough to keep costs down.
The Affordable Care Act, which passed in 2010, allowed states to use public funds to help pay for the cost of maintaining a nursing facility.
But that has allowed some states to run low on resources and to see nursing home closures and other changes to the health insurance landscape.
In Pennsylvania, for example, state lawmakers decided to allow the closure of the state’s nursing home for good in 2018.
The decision angered some of the community members who had campaigned for it, including some who had been vocal in their opposition to the state government’s decision.
“I think we have to do something.
We have to stop spending money on this and we have got to do it without this in the future,” said Krista Zoloth, an attorney with the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association.
“If the state is going to continue to operate it is not going to be financially sustainable.”
In the end, the state voted to keep its nursing home and the community of about 50,000 residents that houses it, but at a cost of about $9 million, according in a recent letter to the Pennsylvania Health and Human Services Agency.
The cost of keeping a nursing homes operation going in Pennsylvania has come down in recent months, but not as quickly as other states.
As a result, nursing home operators are also beginning to feel the pinch from rising health costs.
“Our nursing homes are very expensive,” said Elizabeth Gage, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Independent Living.
“You have to pay a lot of your costs out of pocket, and it’s hard for the people in our communities to be able to do that.”
Gage said that she doesn’t think it’s right to put the lives of seniors and their families at risk by closing nursing homes because many of the facilities are struggling financially.
“There are many communities that are struggling with chronic care needs and not being able to get care.
This is why nursing homes exist in the first place,” she said.
The average cost of operating a nursing-home facility in Pennsylvania was $6,400 in 2018, according Medicare data from 2015.
That’s a far cry from the $6 billion spent on the program in 2009, according documents released under the Freedom of Information Act