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Senior Housing > Blog > 2016 > March

Why Lawmakers Want to Modernize Medicaid

RCFE Reform 2014

It is no secret that Medicaid has been under fire for quite some time now. Even though Medicaid is our nation’s number one health insurance program for those with disabilities and the low-income population, it seems legislators just don’t have it right. There are numerous vulnerabilities and outright problems with the Medicaid system, causing people to slip through the cracks or be denied coverage when they are in fact eligible. In order to combat these problems, lawmakers are finally taking matters into their own hands. Over the last six months or so, higher-ups are taking steps to increase Medicaid coverage and improve beneficiaries’ access to coverage. In a nutshell – they are trying to ‘modernize’ Medicaid.

Medicaid and Nursing Homes – What’s the Problem?

So, what does this mean for those under the Medicaid program who are in need of long-term care? While Medicaid is supposed to help those with limited assets and low-income pay for a nursing home or long-term care, it doesn’t always work out this way because of how the current system is set up. Many skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) actually rely on Medicaid reimbursement for more than half of their revenues, however, Medicaid tends to pay lower rates than many private payers and, in some cases, refuses to pay at all. As you can imagine, this causes numerous issues for both the beneficiary and the SNF. Even though federal law prohibits discrimination based on Medicaid status, it seems many who are under this program do not realize the care they need or deserve, which is yet another reason why this program needs to be modernized.

Steps to Modernize Medicaid

Back in September of 2015 we learned that the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee was looking into several bills that would increase Medicaid coverage and drastically improve beneficiaries’ access to medical care. These bills would impact everyone from the young to the elderly and are being viewed as a huge step in the right direction. The bills that have already passed regarding the modernization of Medicaid include:

  • The PACE Innovation Act – This bill allows the Department of Health and Human Services to waive Medicaid requirements for some who may qualify for the PACE program. This includes high-need, at-risk people under the age of 55.
  • The Ensuring Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2015 – This bill would allow patients suffering from rare, uncommon diseases to participate in a clinical trial with up to $2,000 in compensation and will have no impact on their Medicaid eligibility.
  • The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015 –This bill would mean that non-elderly people with disabilities would no longer be considered an ‘asset’ when determining whether or not they are eligible for Medicaid.
  • The Medicaid Directory of Caregivers Act – This would make state Medicaid programs responsible for publishing an accessible directory of physicians who have billed Medicaid in the past six months. Please note this bill is still under review.

As you can see, all of these passed and proposed bills would drastically change the way in which Medicaid operates, and for the greater good. By revolutionizing Medicaid, we will be able to better serve the low-income and disabled population throughout each and every step. To learn more about the SNF community, please contact The JCH Senior Housing Group today. We are committed to creating an accessible, smart, and positive future for senior living and understand that for many, independent living and memory care is confusing and seemingly out of reach. However, with the modernization of Medicaid, we hope that more of our elderly population will have access to this care. Contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Senior Housing Group for more information today!

The Decline of the Nursing Home Model


Nursing Homes have for years imprinted a negative association in the minds of seniors and families caring for seniors. The negative thoughts that come up when thinking of nursing homes are usually circle around abuse, abandonment, neglect, etc. Shep JCH is focused on building up the future of senior living and creating only positive experiences for seniors and their families. The decline of the nursing home model has also been a result of the rise of independent living and memory care housing. Seniors and their families are more apt to go for one of these options because of their close proximity to city centers and access to commercial shopping centers. They have also grown in popularity due to the great amenities they provide seniors, keeping them healthy and their spirits up. Shep JCH is future-minded, driving to create value, improve quality care, and provide a return on your investment as a Senior Living provider. With their focus on the senior population, Shep JCH knows what it takes to create an abundance out of your development. Contact ShepJCH today!



Understanding Development in Senior Housing

Senior housing is cyclical in nature with a boom and bust. The last cycle ended in 2009-2010 with the start of the recession. More than five years later, a new season for senior housing begins and already the fundamentals of senior housing prove true: with an increase in the number of seniors needing care, demands for senior housing facilities grow again.

More Equity Sources for Construction

Since the beginning of the recession, no new facilities of any kind were being built. Now, limited supply and burgeoning demand drives up the price of senior housing assets. Existing performing assets are valued at the same price as the cost of new construction, particularly for assisted living facilities for sale. Operators looking to buy healthcare properties then face the question: should I buy an existing property or build a new facility? Many choose not to find care homes for sale and instead build their own. The only risk operators and owners face is the two-year waiting period for construction to complete, which, to many, is insignificant when it results in a brand new asset for the same cost as buying an older building that may require further renovations.

With a surging urgency toward new assets, lenders have reentered the construction space with funds deploying for independent facilities and assisted living facilities. Construction loans are ample and equity sources such as REITs option 100 percent financing for building. The development of skilled nursing facilities in California is not as speedy or great as the senior housing facilities, which is why the choice to buy skilled nursing facilities or set a SNF for sale is still fashionable practice for these operators. The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) is the governing body responsible for monitoring the renovation and construction of skilled nursing facilities. California operators are met with certain barriers provided by OSHPD that delay development to its timetable. However, skilled nursing may soon reach a point where construction will start.

Renovate Older Buildings to Keep Up with New Competition

With more operators seeking construction loans and new assets, operators of existing facilities need to upgrade their physical plants in order to keep up with shinier competition. Even if operators list assisted living properties for sale or other senior housing for sale, because their value are equal to new facilities, upgrades become imperative to a successful sale, transfer and operation. People take their time to educate themselves on developing information, making cautious investments and choices, which is good for the industry. The JCH Group has facilitated some of the most notable and successful transactions in the senior housing market. Whether you fancy aassisted living homes for sale or have a general inquiry about what it takes to buy healthcare properties, our senior living brokerage combines field experience and collaborative expertise to provide you with the information and analysis you need to achieve the best deal possible. To learn more about how The JCH Group can service you, contact us at your convenience. Shep Roylance 805-633-4649