As the reviews of the budget deal continue to come in, nursing home officials say that the agreement approved by the Republican Legislature and signed by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton sends mixed messages to seniors and nursing home operators.
In a statement this morning, Gayle Kvenvold, president and CEO of Aging Services of Minnesota, said:
“While efforts were made to shield some seniors from the most drastic cuts, this budget also includes disturbing policy changes and cuts that will seriously impact seniors who need access to a full continuum of care options and deserve the freedom to make their own choices.”
The Long-Term Care Imperative — a legislative collaboration between Aging Services of Minnesota and Care Providers of Minnesota, the state’s two long-term care trade associations — said the agreement:
…does not cut nursing home rates in this biennium and provides a small amount of relief for a small number of nursing homes, it also repeals a critical payment reform measure adopted in 2007 that in practical terms will cut $133 million in promised payments to nursing homes starting in 2013.
The budget also includes significant cuts to cost-saving home and community-based services, while creating a new layer of government bureaucracy by making counseling with a government employee mandatory for all seniors seeking home and community-based care services, including seniors seeking care with their own private resources.