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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Who pays as Medicaid cuts back?

Emmy Roberts, 90, is among the half of the 170 residents at Tacoma [Wash.] Lutheran Home who receive Medicaid support. But the home's ability to maintain that ratio is threatened, says Paul Opgrande, director, as the costs of care outpace reimbursement from state government.

Daily expense per resident is $150, but state payment is just $130. It could have been worse: Washington's governor proposed a $70 million cut in nursing home payments in 2002 that the Legislature restored. The issue will come up again in 2003 as many states, like Washington, face budget crises. The Tacoma home is among more than 400 affiliated with Lutheran Services in America, whose president, Jill Schumann, says: "Even facilities that are managed efficiently, good at fund-raising and faithfully supported by congregations are in danger. There is only so much you can scale back."


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October issue

OCTOBER issue:

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