Senate studying nursing home bankruptcies

WASHINGTON - Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., says Congress has a responsibility to investigate why more and more nursing homes are filing for bankruptcy.

The issue was raised in a hearing before the Senate Aging Committee Tuesday.

Reid said one in 10 skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. are in bankruptcy but that in Nevada, the rate is much higher.

"Nearly half of the nursing homes in Nevada have filed for bankruptcy protection and, in southern Nevada, the bankruptcy rate rises to over 80 percent," said Reid, a member of the Aging Committee.

He said industry blames Congress for cutting Medicare funds but that a General Accounting Office report says Medicare payments to those homes are adequate and that the real problem is business decisions by the home owners.

"The federal government already spends over $39 billion a year on the nation's nursing homes and we need to understand how nursing homes are spending that money," he said.

He said it would be a national disgrace to see seniors evicted from nursing homes with no place to go.


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