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Government offers incentives to offer private nursing home rooms

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(The Center Square) – Government-funded health care will pay Ohio nursing homes an extra $30 a day for private rooms after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the state’s incentive plan to create more private rooms available.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the change Tuesday afternoon, saying it’s part of his strategy to maximize nursing home residents’ quality of care and life.

“Most nursing home residents tell us that a private room greatly improves their sense of dignity, autonomy, and comfort, and we know that private rooms produce better health outcomes for residents as well,” DeWine said. “In Ohio, we have the capacity to provide a private room to every nursing home resident who wants one.”

The plan developed by the Ohio Department of Medicaid at DeWine’s urging incentivizes existing nursing homes to convert multi-resident rooms into private rooms and encourages new nursing homes to emphasize private rooms.

DeWine said that’s a shift from current thinking, and he expects the change to improve resident satisfaction and health.

He pointed to a national study that said 82% of long-term care residents prefer a private room, and 4% prefer a multi-resident room. In Ohio, DeWine said, the majority of nursing home residents share a room with another person.

“By reducing multi-occupancy bedrooms, we are improving the mental well-being of individuals and decreasing the risk of infection,” state Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran said. “We are taking proactive steps to protect nursing home residents and provide them with the highest quality of care possible.”

Once a nursing home is approved by the state Medicaid Department, it will receive $30 per day on top of its normal daily rate for private rooms with private bathrooms. A private room with a shared bathroom will be an additional $20 per day.

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