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Impacts of low Medicaid reimbursement rates

Medicaid reimbursement rates are no longer covering the cost of care and are preventing agencies from paying competitive wages.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The challenge of seeking health aides for our loved ones is something many can relate to in Northwest Ohio. Health care advocates who spoke to WTOL say the new lack of coverage is making it harder to find that person.

A senior citizen in the Toledo area fears that the elderly and people with disabilities are at risk of losing care because of the lack of available home healthcare workers.

“The companies can’t pay the aides something that they can support their families on," said Carol Shull, home health client. "They’re paying for their own gas, so that’s an expense."

With Medicaid reimbursement rates no longer covering the cost of care and preventing agencies from paying competitive wages, agencies who are unable to cover the cost of care are moving away from providing care to Medicaid recipients.

“The biggest impact is the inability to pay a market wage. We’re competing with other providers who employed the same nurses and the same types of people in their agency and in some cases, they can pay them up to $10 more an hour for the same job,” said Joe Russell, Executive Director – Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice.

The lack of competitive pay for caregivers adds to the ongoing healthcare workforce shortage. On May 11, the Ohio Senate is holding a hearing to discuss Medicaid payment as part of the state budget. 


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