Nursing homes are warning that allowing the temporary income tax increase to expire would force them to turn away certain patients. Pat Comstock, executive director of the Illinois Health Care Council – the lobbying group for nursing homes – says nursing homes are in an unusual position where they can’t cut certain costs, as federal mandates require facilities to provide services, even if that cost is not reimbursed by the state.
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Comstock guesses homes may find other ways to stay under budget. “It’s possible that many facilities would decide to no longer take Medicaid residents...because what we are paid for the care of our residents is already below our costs,” she said. Comstock says other facilities may choose to close altogether. Less drastic possibilities include cutting back on organized activities for residents.