virginia burke

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave speak to Virginia Burke, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Healthcare Association, which represents nursing homes. The group has questioned a plan to cut millions of dollars in state Medicaid spending.

Burke tells Mark and Dave that cuts to Medicaid would likely lead to layoffs for nursing home staff, which could degrade the quality of patient care.

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s new budget proposes cutting millions of dollars in payments to hospitals and nursing homes. While their bottom lines have been improving, hospital officials say the cuts could hurt that recovery.

Nursing homes across Rhode Island will be collecting donations to help fight Ebola in West Africa. That’s because, the state’s nursing home association recognized a need to help its large community of West African workers.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has proposed $43 million in cuts to the state's Medicaid program. That's the program that provides health insurance for the poor and disabled. And it's recently been expanded under Obamacare.

And while Chafee's budget wouldn't cut services for Medicaid recipients, it would have an impact on how much health care providers are paid to care for Medicaid patients. To learn more, Rhode Island Public Radio's health care reporter Kristin Gourlay sat down with Virginia Burke, head of the Rhode Island Health Care Association, whose members are mainly nursing homes.

Rhode Islanders who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid - the so-called "dual eligibles" - take note: you're being enrolled in a new health plan designed to coordinate your primary care and long term care needs a bit better. It's called the Integrated Care Initiative, it could affect nearly 28,000 Rhode Islanders, and it's not without controversy.

But first, what's it about?

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin wants to institute a national background check for nursing home workers. Federal grant money – and some extra costs for nursing homes – are at stake.