State Budget Aims to Boost Funding for Nursing Homes in Ohio – Including for Private Rooms 

Nursing homes in Ohio may see a significant boost in state investment from Medicaid and Coronavirus relief funds thanks to a budget proposal expected to pass the House on Thursday.

The House framework includes major changes to the governor’s proposed budget including giving Medicaid dollars to put residents in private rooms, and an amendment that coronavirus funding can go to the more lucrative SNFs in the state, according to an article on the changes published by and The Plain Dealer.

The amendment would allow $350 million in federal coronavirus relief dollars to go to six nursing homes that aren’t enrolled in Medicaid and are entirely run on private pay.


The House is expected to make further changes this week to the budget while the Ohio Senate will also weigh in before a finalized version of it is presented ahead of a June 30 deadline to send the budget to Gov. Mike DeWine.

The move is a break from how Medicaid has historically been allocated, with the program in the past declining to pay for private rooms.

The budget attempts to rebase Medicaid reimbursement to factor in rising inflation, and will use occupancy levels as a quality metric to reward nursing homes, in addition to offering an add-on payment to facilities that put Medicaid patients in private rooms.


Pete Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA), said in an email to Skilled Nursing News that the association was pleased with the substitute budget that was recently unveiled in the House.

“OHCA has been working with the other organizations that represent SNFs and with the legislature since last summer on solutions to the workforce crisis that our members are facing,” said Van Runkle. “The House’s budget also responds to Governor DeWine’s call for tying funding to quality by dedicating 60% of the money from rebasing rates to Ohio’s quality incentive for SNFs and by broadening the measures used for the incentive, as well as by encouraging private rooms for Medicaid residents.”

The budget is likely to pass the House on Thursday, Van Runkle said.

According to Van Runkle, more money for nursing homes in Ohio’s budget is tied to new quality metrics already being tracked by the federal government such as, rates of residents who can independently perform tasks of daily living, rates of falls, and rates of residents on antipsychotic medication. 

The budget also provides for a 48% increase in the state’s Medicaid-funded assisted living waiver program and jump in wages to $18 for home care workers helping older adults, the article noted.

Amy Stulick contributed to this report.

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