LINTHICUM, Md. and ROCHESTER, N.Y., August 24, 2022 – The Green House Project (GHP) and Pioneer Network today applaud the federal government’s call for states to foster the implementation of private rooms and other improvements in U.S. nursing homes through targeted Medicaid funding increases.
For nearly 20 years, The Green House Project has overseen the development of small-home alternatives to traditional institutional nursing homes. Providers across the country now operate more than 370 Green House homes, and while this number represents significant progress, it’s also only a fraction of the more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide.
Medicaid covers the majority of residents in nursing homes, providing generally lower per-day rates than Medicare. Organizations looking to implement the Green House model or other physical upgrades often struggle with finding sufficient financing due to investor and lender concerns about the sufficiency of Medicaid rates for stable long-term operations. Historically, this has led to chronic underinvestment in the long-term care infrastructure, particularly in low-income areas and communities of color.
But as the federal government observed in its recent memo encouraging states to align Medicaid rates with nursing home quality, “Medicaid is a key lever for accomplishing the goals of strengthening quality of care, accountability, and transparency.”
“Even a small increase in Medicaid rates is a powerful catalyst for innovation and development in long-term care,” Susan Ryan, GHP’s senior director, said. “A few dollars per day can mean the difference between the status quo and a complete transformation of the way we provide care for elders and people with disabilities.”
States such as Arkansas and Michigan have already implemented Medicaid rate add-ons for small-home development, helping providers in those states develop and operate Green House homes. GHP and Pioneer wholeheartedly encourage state Medicaid officials across the country to consider similar plans as they work to meet the White House’s set of care improvement goals in nursing homes.
These improvements aren’t limited to physical design: GHP and Pioneer call on state Medicaid officials to implement rate add-ons for providers that demonstrate a commitment to person-directed care principles and comprehensive workforce development.
“The inputs of quality care – including properly trained and compensated staff and a person-directed culture – have a substantial impact on quality outcomes,” Pioneer Network CEO Penny Cook said.
GHP and Pioneer also fully support the federal government’s call for robust accountability and transparency for providers alongside increase funding.
“Any increases in Medicaid funding must be coupled with strong benchmarks and oversight to ensure that the money goes directly to improving the lives of residents and caregivers,” Ryan said.
Alex Spanko, Director of Communications