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J Aging Soc Policy. 2005;17(2):41-65.

Medicaid nursing facility reimbursement in flux: effects of federal regulatory changes and prevailing fiscal conditions, 1978-1998.

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  • 1Division of Health Policy and Administration, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Basic concepts and trends are examined in Medicaid nursing facility reimbursements between 1978 and 1998, because Medicaid payment reform is a common budget reduction strategy pursued by state officials. Non-incremental changes in state rate-setting methods, as well as incremental changes in per diem rates and expenditures per recipient, are analyzed. In addition to substantial cross-state variation, results reveal clear trends in reimbursement policy characteristics over time. Not only do these track closely with changes in the federal regulatory environment, but they also track closely with prevailing fiscal and economic conditions. Given the serious ramifications reimbursement policy changes can have for nursing home residents and providers, it is imperative that the impact of federal disengagement from this policy area be understood.

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