Can nursing homes reduce care for Medicaid (instead of Medicare) residents?
A: No. Nursing homes cannot discriminate based upon payment source. In other words, a nursing home is required to provide the same level of care, regardless of who is paying the bill. Generally, Medicare pays nursing homes considerably more than Medicaid. We have dealt with situations where nursing homes have had “Medicaid wings” in their facilities. On the Medicaid wing, staffing levels were reduced compared to the rest of the facility. As a result, care was also reduced. The practice of discriminating against residents based upon payment source is unlawful.