Nursing homes brace for budget cuts - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Nursing homes brace for budget cuts

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- Schools and libraries are already bracing for deep cuts in funding , as the state faces a massive budget deficit, and now hospitals and nursing homes are bracing themselves, as medicaid is on the chopping block. Highland Pines nursing home staffs around 160 workers and cares for 130 patients, and all are waiting to see if they'll have a facility in the future, pending medicaid cuts.

"We have serious concerns we realize cuts will have to be made somewhere we are really concerned about our senior citizens and those who require nursing care, there has to be someplace for them to go," says Highland Pines administrator Annette Simpkins.

State lawmakers are looking at slashing medicaid reimbursement rates from 10 to 30 percent, which could spell the end for many care facilities.

"70 percent of ours are medicaid, there will be a lot of nursing homes that will have to close we certainly do not want to be one of those, we don't really see an alternative here, its a devastating problem," says Simpkins.

Some who call Highland home, will have nowhere to go if it shuts down.

"Wonder where I'll go you know, because I can't be by myself at home any more you know what I mean, I don't know what I'd do just have to find some place to put me because I can't take care of myself," says Highland Pines patient Maxine Hutchenson.

Doug Schutte suffered a brain injury and has been at Highland for 5 years.

"After 6 months of full time rehab over near McKinney they dropped me off here almost 5 years ago and its been great. But for me there's no place to go, this is it, no home," Schutte says.

And one final plea to legislators.

"Please don't let this happen," Simpkins says.

As with all funding cuts, hospitals and nursing homes are on a wait and see basis when it comes to numbers.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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