ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Caregivers, lawmakers, and union members are pushing back against changes to nursing home Medicaid reimbursement rates.

“It will leave a horrible string of predictable consequences, it will force nursing homes to close,” Scott Amrhein, Continuing Care Leadership Coalition President, said.

A lawsuit filed in Albany County State Supreme Court by LeadingAge New York against the state Department of Health alleges that the DOH is cutting Medicaid rates “by an average of … $246 million per year, statewide.”

Nursing home workers and union members say it could affect the quality of care for thousands of nursing home residents.

“If our nursing homes are handed any more cuts in the funding, the impact to our residents, caregivers and all of our family is going to be dramatic,” Crystal Perry, Glendale Nursing Home LPN, said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health is “reviewing the court case,” and does not expect “any disruption to nursing home residents and the care they receive.”

In a statement the DOH said:

The FY 2020 State Budget that was passed by the Legislature included a change in the calculation used to reimburse nursing homes statewide. In order to ensure that nursing homes are paid accurately and fairly based on the care needs (“acuity”) of the 80,000 New Yorkers, they serve at an annual cost of approximately $6 billion.

SEIU 1199 members say more than 600 nursing homes would be affected by the change.

The implementation of the change is set to take place on Wednesday. LeadingAge New York is seeking a preliminary injunction.