Medicare v. Medicaid is why Horace Nye should remain public

Guest Viewpoint

This is in response to the recent Editorial “Horace Nye: It's time to sell”

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” - Abraham Lincoln

The Horace Nye Home is in my opinion the most important asset that the taxpayers of Essex County own. This facility through the years has been the final resting place for many residents who also contributed taxes and played key roles within this county for many years. In my community alone I can think of seven current residents of the Horace Nye Home that were long time successful local business owners in the Town of Moriah. One would have to wonder where these individuals would now be if the Horace Nye Home were in private ownership.

The argument that the Private homes do not accept Medicaid or Medicare is not necessarily true. Many private homes do accept this method of payment. The real issue is what percentage of the occupants are on Medicare/Medicaid? Another issue is people that are in the “Medicaid Pending” status when trying to find a home for a loved one. Most private homes will accept you if you have enough funds to pay privately for six months. Some Nursing homes that are having no difficulty filling their beds require patients to be able to pay privately for a year or more.

Privately paying residents pay more for their care than Medicaid pays for the same care. This is the reason as to why “Private” run Nursing Homes can turn a profit, and Public Nursing Homes operate in the red. It's very simple, if 90% of your residents (average for the Horace Nye) are Medicaid, your operation will not turn a profit. So what's the solution? Obviously you try to recruit as many “Private Pay” or insured residents as you can to fill the beds, as this is where they will make money.

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