State lawmakers look at funding formula for Massachusetts nursing homes

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – After a report released by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey showed deadly instances of elder abuse, lawmakers are revisiting the way the state cares for aging residents.

At a State House hearing on Monday, the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs heard from legislators and residents who have seen inadequate care first hand. 

Members of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association warned that 35 nursing homes are at risk of closing in 2019 due in large part to a lack of state funding.

This funding shortfall would force hundreds of seniors in Massachusetts to move to another nursing home, or lose their state housing altogether.

“Making the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or Commonwealth, the 4th worst in the nation for funding nursing home services, this is a disgrace,” Senator Harriet Chandler of Worcester said. 

The advocacy group is urging lawmakers to help close the $360 million funding gap that Massachusetts nursing homes see annually.  

Even though $25 million was allocated for nursing homes last year, advocates say the overall funding formula must be updated to reflect current costs and better serve the state’s older residents.

Lawmakers didn’t vote on legislation Monday, but they said they will be considering different methods to better fund nursing homes across Massachusetts. 

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