Caregivers thank state legislatorsPublished 9:15am Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I want to extend a sincere thank you to our legislators for supporting caregivers and seniors in the 2013 legislative session. The 2013 legislative session ended with securing increases for long-term care because legislators put their commitment behind caregivers. We appreciate the efforts of the Minnesota Legislature to include much-needed funding for senior care providers.
For nursing homes, the bill includes an average 5 percent increase in fiscal year 2014. This is a very welcome and needed increase, and we thank our legislators. Effective Sept. 1, an across-the-board increase of 3.75 percent with 75 percent encumbered to go to staff wages and benefits, and an additional average of 1.25 percent provided in the form of a quality add-on with a range of 0 percent to 3.2 percent. This infusion of new funding into nursing homes will help provide well-deserved wage increases for caregivers and will help support quality care for our seniors. Our community is blessed to have three skilled nursing homes with caregivers who provide exceptional quality of care.
For elderly waiver, the bill included the repeal of the 1.67 percent contingent rate cut, which was a vital top priority for waivered service providers. The bill also includes a 1 percent increase available on April 1, 2014, and an increase based on quality, available in July 2015. This will be the first funding increase for elderly waiver providers in the past five years. There will be significant work ahead as we look forward to working with the state Department of Human Services and lawmakers to develop the tools used to measure quality for home and community based services.
Overall, this bill is a good step in the right direction. As the economy improves, I look forward to additional conversations with our legislators as well as seeking opportunities for additional progress toward sustainable funding for our long-term care continuum, which includes nursing homes and elderly waiver providers.
Thank you, Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Shannon Savick, for supporting caregivers in all Minnesota communities.
campus administrator, Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea