Nursing homes prepare for impact of looming Medicaid cuts amidst second special session

Posted at 6:11 PM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 19:11:24-05

TULSA, Okla. -- Nursing home residents who rely on Medicaid said as they watched lawmakers convene for a second time, they started to feel forgotten.

"We're at a crisis I think. When you talk about cutting Medicaid? My goodness," Shirley Stanley said.

Right now lawmakers are working to prevent a one percent cut to Medicaid services across the state. Some nursing homes are already shutting down ahead of the January first deadline, causing others to get ready for an unprecedented strain on resources.

"We're barely working on bare minimum Medicaid rates already. Taking that one percent cut... it's taking from money that we already don't have," administrator Shelby Sweet said.

As the Tulsa Nursing Center prepares for overcrowding they said doubling up on rooms could be the solution. Already residents are concerned about the impact on their quality of life.

"That seems like "we'll just put them here or put them there and forget about them. They're old, they don't need to go anywhere," Stanley said.

Stanley said in previous years there used to be trips to the zoo or movies and those have already been cut. With more cuts looming, residents said it's hard to be in the holiday spirit.

"Of course we're thinking about it. We're wondering, where are we going to be? Will we even be here? Will facilities close that are there to help the elderly?" Stanley said.

Lawmakers met Tuesday to consider a bill that would appropriate just under $18 million for Medicaid and Health Care Authority services. If passed, the one percent cut would not take effect.

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