Staffing Subsidies and the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

Concerns about the quality of state-financed nursing home care has led to the wide-scale adoption by states of pass-through subsidies, in which Medicaid reimbursement rates are directly tied to staffing expenditure. We examine the effects of Medicaid pass-through on nursing home staffing and quality of care by adapting a two-step FGLS method that addresses clustering and state-level temporal autocorrelation. We find that pass-through subsidies increases staffing by about 1% on average and 2.7% in nursing homes with a low share of Medicaid patients. Furthermore, pass-through subsidies reduce the incidences of pressure ulcer worsening by about 0.9%.

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