Nursing home groups say budget deal has mixed messages

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.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 07/20/2011 - 08:32 pm.

    While I agree completely that funding for in-home and community services should not be cut. It should be increased to meet greater needs as the number of elderly increase.

    But I wonder at the statement that counseling “….creates a new layer of bureaucracy.”

    Might this be for the protection of seniors who actually need nursing home care rather than in-home services? Or who need help clarifying just what in-home services they need? Or who have no family or friends who can help make decisions?

  2. Submitted by Rachelle Henkel on 07/21/2011 - 01:55 pm.

    The idea is good, in theory. People usually have many more options than they realize. However County Social Workers caseloads are overloaded as it is. A Long Term Care Consultation (LTCC) is about 16 weeks in Ramsey County, not so bad in Anoka. I doubt the number of Senior Services Social Workers will be increased.

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