Nursing homes to receive funding

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

St. John’s Lutheran Home Administrator Scot Spates said he is relieved to hear the Minnesota judge’s order that classified nursing home care as a critical core function in the event of a state government shutdown.

Spates said 55 percent of the nursing home’s residents are on medical assistance via Medicaid. The revenue impact from this per month totals $300,000. Medicaid payments come from the state but are partially funded by the federal government.

“It would have a huge impact on us,” he said.

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Though he was thrilled to hear this positive news, Spates said there were a few behind-the-scenes uncertainties that have still not been resolved. He hoped they would be resolved in the next 24 hours.

The first issue is involving background checks of potential employees.

Spates said when a nursing home hires a person, a background check is conducted on him or her.

He noted he is unsure whether they will be able to continue conducting those checks through state resources.

“It becomes difficult for us because we’re constantly hiring new people,” Spates said. “If we can’t hire new people in a month, it really puts us in a bind.”

Likewise, there’s concern about whether the pre-admission screenings of residents will still be able to be conducted in the event of a shutdown.

“The issue is, if they’re not screened can we admit them?” he said.