Administrator says reimbursements inadequate
By Jane Myhra
The state’s medical work force crisis has a local effect, according to Greg Loeser, administrator of Iola Living Assistance.
“Wisconsin has the worst Medicaid reimbursement system in the nation,” Loeser told the Iola Village Board at its November meeting. “The funding is at the tipping point for smaller communities.”
He reported that the daily cost at the ILA nursing facility is $228 per day, but the Medicaid reimbursement is only $163 per day. The facility has lost about $1.86 million in the last four years.
Until recently, this loss was covered in part by profits from Butternut Ridge apartments and Living Oaks assisted living facility.
“These numbers are becoming too big, so we can no longer cover the losses,” Loeser said.
He urged the village trustees to contact members of the state’s Joint Finance Committee asking for an increase in funding for rural nursing homes. He said there is funding, but it needs to be spread more evenly.
According to Loeser, this issue is affecting the progress of building a new nursing facility in Iola.
“The financial state of the nursing home has not increased, which affects funding for a new facility,” he said.
Loeser said a local nursing home offers peace of mind to family members that there is a caring facility in close to home.