Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LV Nursing Homes Facing $5.9 Million in State Budget Cuts

The Gracedale Gang is very busy these days. They did once call themselves the "Gracedale Guardians," but now refer to themselves as the "Watchmen."  Well, they need new glasses. They've been very busy in recent weeks, calling Executive John Stoffa a crook. They're still stomping all over former Council member Ron Angle, who lost his seat in November's election. They've also been trashing Easton Mayor and Gracedale supporter Sal Panto. Why? I have no degrees in psychology so it's hard to understand that one.

As much as they hate these elected officials, they hate me even more. I'm "vermin," "demented," "deranged," etc., with a "twisted pen."

While these supposed watchmen have been hurling hate grenades at all their imagined enemies, Governor Tom Corbett and the feds have been using meat cleavers to hack away at nursing home budgets.

According to some real watchmen at the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, the impact of Corbett's budget cuts on Northampton County nursing homes will be $2,121,441. Lehigh County, will suffer even more, losing $3,809,190. That's $5.9 million in cuts to LV nursing homes. By the way, Corbett's $102 million statewide cut for nursing homes is in addition to reductions in Medicare payments.

This financial strain is too much for the County. It's one of the reasons the County wanted to sell. Here are the sorry facts, according to a PHCA news release:

 Over the last four years, the state has paid nursing homes $1 billion less than the actual cost of care for Medicaid residents. Last year, the gap between the cost of care and what nursing homes are reimbursed for that care widened by 27 percent, from a loss of $15.13 per resident per day to $19.23 per resident per day. Nursing homes lose an average of $7,000 per Medicaid resident per year.

 Where other health-care providers, including hospitals and doctors, can make up lost Medicaid dollars through a variety of other funding sources, including private pay and health insurance, nursing homes can’t. Two-thirds of all nursing home residents are on Medicaid. That makes nursing homes far different than any other health-care provider.

 Nursing homes historically countered Medicaid shortfalls with Medicare revenue. That’s no longer the case, and it’s not even possible anymore. Here’s why:

o In October, a new federal rule took effect that cuts Medicare payments to nursing homes by 18 percent, or nearly $300 million. The cuts reset the base payments to nursing homes, meaning they continue year after year.

o The payroll tax cut extension enacted in February forces nursing homes to absorb $46.4 million in uncompensated care over the next three years. Pennsylvania’s cut is the fourth highest nationally, ranking only behind Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

o These cuts come on the heels of $14.6 billion being stripped nationally from nursing homes ($1 billion in Pennsylvania) under Medicare to pay for federal health-care reform.

o The cuts are compounded by an additional $500 million reduction Pennsylvania nursing homes face because of the federal super committee failed to reach a debt agreement.

These supposed watchmen, who actually want a seat on the Gracedale Advisory Panel, are happily casting stones at their perceived enemies. At the same time, these "guardians" - people like Mary Ann Schmoyer and Fake Rev Mario Martinez  - embrace a documented racist, GOP delegate candidate Tricia Mezzacappa. An  Easton police officer concluded Mezzacappa's vocabulary is "tinged with hints of racial bias." They consort with her while the Guv' is happily chopping away.


Anonymous said...

You are an absolute insane Loon O'Hare. You are as crazy as a shithouse rat and not afraid to show it!

Anonymous said...

Stoffa/Angle/O`Hare/Cusik were correct....21,000 people were wrong.

Anonymous said...

That is the gist of the Angle/Stoffa/Panto/O'Hare logic.

Anonymous said...

People are simply living too long. The government at the federal and state level have determined that they will not pay for this. If you want to live longer no matter your condition, YOU will pay. Not the taxpayer. The federal healthcare that is looming will implement this practice by having so called death-panels. Not sure that there will be a big need for skilled nursing homes in the future anyway. Seems like dying industry, pun intended.

Anonymous said...

Bern, gotta admit... you ARE deranged.

Lower Mack said...

Bernie, not a single one of these comments actually addressed the fact that the ability of the county to support Gracedale is now seriously in doubt. They'd rather write 8th grade level insults to you.
Can't think of another word.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame Corbett. He ran on this platform and is cutting that which is unsustainable. The Gracedale idiots are a perfect example of why Corbett is right and counties need to get out of these pricey union jobs programs that come at the cost of patient care.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Lower Mack @ 6:50 AM
Ditto Anon @ 7:18 AM

Corbett for Pres said...

Ditch Gracedale, ditch the unions and all their legacy costs. Should have been done years ago. The whole thing smells like a swapton the fools kept holding onto.

Ronnie said...

Like him or not...Bernie tells it like it is. As a reader of several blogs (by choice over the lame stream media)Bernie's info is usually accurate, thoughtful, and a pure riot to read. I laugh, I fume, but in the end, I'm informed. To all those 'anonymous' have no credibility wearing that mask. If you really believe what you say then put your name to it and grow up.
Furthermore, on topic, ALL government run nursing homes are going to face huge financial woes. Private sector ownership and management will save them. If we truly want to "save Gracedale" we must allow the private sector to rescue it...government cannot do it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, not a single one of these comments actually addressed the fact that the ability of the county to support Gracedale is now seriously in doubt. They'd rather write 8th grade level insults to you.

That's it in a big NUTshell. They spend so much time trashing people, from Stoffa to Panto, they've lost sight of the big picture. They could be helping fight these proposed cuts, which NC taxpayers will be forced to make up.

Rich said...

Bernie, I don't often agree with you lately, but good job here. You got this story (besides the talk about selling) pretty much right. This is a local tax increase, passed by Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...

It's time to man up and pay our bills and stop whining about it. At least until we get a Democratic governor again and correct this huge Corbett mistake.

I just paid my NC tax bill today. It wasn't that high. Another hundred or two won't kill me if it means keeping our house in order.

Anonymous said...

This lame county executive and his incompetent Human Services Director ran Gracedale into the ground. Even with cuts which occurred before, the place made money overall and ended up funding other parts of government.

Like Faux News, O'Hare makes sure you get his slanted view retelling of events.

If a new Administration and county council truly want Gracedale to succeed, it can and thrive. But it will take honest and competent leaders. We don't have that today.

Anonymous said...

PA always re-elects it's governors, and always switches parties every eight years. Corbett will be around for six more years. How many patients will the goons have choked and kicked by then? Save patients from substandard care and abuse. Downsize Gracedale now.

Anonymous said...

BTW, funny photo choice, Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bennie, is a "documented racist" the same as a cited racist and anti-semeite. Ron Angle was condemned and cited by both the NAACP and anti-defamation league.

Just wondering if they are comparable. Did she get her official citation like Angle did or just yours?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am unaware of any police report on file documenting Mr. angle making any racist remarks. i am similarly unaware of anything, including the record of my suspension, which in any way documents any racism on my part.

But in the case of Mezzacappa, there is a police report. That report includes the comments of neighbors who say that she referred to them in the disparaging term, "nigger." In addition, a cab driver heard her shout the term "nigger" at least once. Finally, the police officer himself indicated, in his written report, that Mezzacapa's vocabulary was tinged with racism.

Amazingly, a person with this disgusting background, is running to be a GOP delegate at the Republican convention, hoping that nobody minds.

This behavior does not date back to 1985. It occurred last year.

As if that were not bad eNough, her blog is full of vulgarities, extending from comments aout the size of someone's penis to an abnormal fascination with feet to disgusting death wishes to "bite me" remarks on the header of her blog.

This is the person who has been embraced by the Gracdale Goons.

What does this say about them?

Anonymous said...

It says nothing about the goons. They are on to this fanciful charade you and Brenda are running....embedded deep....
yeah real deep right up to her open toed high heels
keep your friends close and your enemies closer...
ctrl alt dele

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes. And then I found out what she as like. Then she became your friend, AFTER you knew what she is like, including the fact that she is a racist and mentally disturbed. What does this say about you.

Anonymous said...

Think of Rep. Simmons when you see these cuts!

Anonymous said...

wow you people are all wacky! Gracedale ref, passed! Gracedale will be in the county's hands for about another 4 yrs. Get over it! Let's see, Adminstration has done nothing to correct any of the problems of the running of the facility as of this time. They haven't done anything for the admisions process, no one from the new company had made any attempts to go out to the local hospitals and promote Gracedale. They use agency nurses (rn's and lpn's ) to cover for the shortage of nurse aides. Now thats a cost saving measure! They send lpn's on doctor visits, another savings!! I could go on and on, but why? You think it's all the "union" goons that cause the problems, but it's not!!! when are the people of this county ever going to learn? The actual employees have nothing to do with the costs of running gracedale.. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing over there....Worker's comp up. Sick leave up. Why? The employees are working too hard because they are working short... another cost effective measure... I have worked there a long time, seen lots of ups and downs with the county, but this is the worse I have ever seen it there.. the moral is so low... the report that was made by primer was only about 1/3 true. They asked people questions that they didn't understand and the responses were taken without any investigations.. and by the way privitazation is not the answer.. it never works!!!!!!
signed: Betty

Bernie O'Hare said...

Betty, Gracedale advocates stated all it needed was private management. It has that now. The County is making $20 MM in improvements. Yet you continue to blame the County and now blame its new manager, too. I suppose 69% in benefits has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

John Stoffa and crew get the same benefits as Gracedale employees. The reason that it isn't 65% of their pay is because Stoffa and gang are grossly overpaid while Gracedale staff are grossly underpaid.

Stoffa hired a private management company but the last thing he wants is for them to be successful. He is a bitter and vengeful man who doesn't give a crap about Gracedale.

When a new and honest
Administration comes in, without a hidden agenda, the palace will work again, like it did before Stoffa and Angle.
We must continue to pray and hope.