In response to the effort made by nursing homes in West Virginia to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their patients and residents, Gov. Jim Justice approved a $20 a day a patient increase in funding.
The move is retroactive to Feb. 1 and will boost nursing home reimbursement by $13.6 million, the state Department of Health and Human Services said.
“The response of West Virginia nursing homes to mitigate the spread of the overwhelming pandemic was amazing and the results of our testing of every nursing home in the state shows that,” DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch said in a statement. “I am pleased that we can show our appreciation with this increase from West Virginia Medicaid.”
The average cost for a resident in a nursing home in West Virginia can vary from $4,800 to $10,200 a month, according to senioradvice.com. The average monthly cost of a nursing home nationwide is $6,360 and is usually paid one of four ways — privately from the resident, through private insurance or by Medicare or Medicaid.
In April, West Virginia became the first state in the nation to test all nursing home residents and staff — and retest residents and staff who were already tested — for COVID-19. The governor’s executive order came after multiple outbreaks of the virus in nursing homes, not only in Monongalia County, but also in Jackson and Wayne counties.
There are 123 private and state-owned nursing homes in West Virginia, according to U.S. News & World Report, including seven in the Greater Morgantown area.