1199SEIU and Healthcare Employers to Discuss Urgent Need to Increase Medicaid Reimbursement Rates in Upstate New York

March 1, 2023

Contact: April.Ezzell@1199.org, 1199SEIU Communications (716)449-1620

Major Healthcare Employers and Front-Line Caregivers from across the state will speak to NYS Senate and Assemblymembers

WHO:     1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Catholic Health, McGuire Group, Loretto Corporation, Weinberg Campus, Healthcare Workers and members of New York State Senate and Assembly
WHAT:      Legislative Forum To Address Medicaid Funding Disparity in New York State
WHEN:     Friday, March 3, 2023 starting at 10am
WHERE:   1199SEIU, 2421 Main St, Suite 100, Buffalo, New York 14214

On Background:

Medicaid is a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers who rely on its funding to get medical care in hospitals and nursing homes. Medicaid reimbursement rates have barely increased in the past 15 years yet costs to provide care have risen over 40%. We are in an unprecedented healthcare worker crisis. New York state is not investing the resources needed to maintain and advance quality care for residents and patients.

Medicaid reimbursements currently only cover about 76% of the cost of providing care leaving a 24% gap in funding for many healthcare facilities across New York State. The Medicaid base payment rate in New York state nursing homes is on average $228 per day, however the average cost to provide care is much higher leaving a gap that continues to create a deficit for struggling healthcare facilities.

Reimbursement rates across the state differ. In downstate, the average base rate is $298 per day and Hudson Valley averages $241 per day. Stagnant Medicaid reimbursement rates are particularly problem in upstate where rates lag far behind those in other areas of the state. The rate in Upstate is $214 per day, below the state’s average.

In Niagara county, Newfane Rehabilitation and Nursing is reimbursed an average of $150 per day, which is substantially less than both the upstate and downstate averages. As a result of lower reimbursement rates, healthcare workers in upstate are paid less and have fewer benefits than their counterparts elsewhere in the state while doing the same work.

Many healthcare employers struggle to provide the wages and benefits needed to retain and recruit enough staff to provide care - leaving existing workers at their breaking point. “We are not going to get out of our staffing crisis without a big change, said April Stonebraker, Licensed Practical Nurse at Elderwood at Lockport. “Increasing Medicaid rates by 20% would allow owners to increase their staffing budget and to offer better wages to hire permanent workers to provide care for residents,” said Stonebraker.

Our healthcare facilities can not survive with the existing 24% gap in Medicaid reimbursement rates. New York state must fill the gap now and increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes and hospitals. Without significant new Medicaid investments from Albany, nursing homes and hospitals will continue to be pushed to the financial brink.


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.