Funding for elder care is criticalPublished 9:44am Monday, April 8, 2013
It is with great pleasure that I thank Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Shannon Savick for visiting our facility on Minnesota’s Visit your Senior Day on March 27. Residents and staff used this valuable time to speak with our state legislators about the issues many nursing homes and senior living communities are facing in today’s economic times.
Our center supports the House File 886 (Patti Fritz, DFL-Faribault) and Senate File 792 (Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley) legislation that will provide a 5 percent rate increase for long-term care providers.
It has been four years since nursing home rates have been increased and the elderly waiver program has actually been cut by 15 percent in the last four years. The state of Minnesota controls on average, 82 percent of the revenue nursing homes receive through Medicaid rates and the rate equalization law.
The Medicaid rates have not been increased in four years and some staff across the state has not seen wage increases in four years. The bills we pay for such as linen, electricity, gas, water, food, supplies, etc. have been increasing 5 to 8 percent annually while our nursing home reimbursement rates have been frozen; or cut in the case of the elderly waiver program.
2013 offers an incredible opportunity to address a chronic lack of funding in the long-term care infrastructure. Senior care is a bipartisan issue. Minnesota’s lawmakers and leaders of both parties can work together to provide a long-term fix on behalf of seniors and their caregivers. Our center supports the goals of creating a financially stable senior care system that provides quality of care. Funding for our state’s elderly waiver program is critical to meeting this goal.
We look for the Legislature and the governor to work together to make our seniors and wonderful caregivers a priority in the Minnesota budget.
Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea