I would like to commend the Legislature and the Governor for passing and signing into law the new LTC Reform Package. As I’ve been out in the public, I’ve had many people ask me how the reform package has affected our organization. I have prepared a number of bullet points to address that very question:
- As the legislature was in session and I could see the momentum that was building to see this law passed, I gave my nursing staff unbudgeted increases with the hope that the reform bill passed. The increases helped stabilize our present workforce from leaving for other positions. It also assisted in recruiting new caregiver staff to our organization. Now that the law passed, I will be able recoup those funds in the cost report process.
- Once the bill passed, was signed into law and we knew what our new revenue base would be, we began to put together our financial plan. Effective January 10, 2016 all staff in our organization received an increase that averaged 8%-10% across our campuses. It is our hope and prayer that this will further stabilize our present workforce and significantly impact our recruitment efforts. We have seen about a 40% drop in turnover from 2014 to the end of 2015. With this new wage increase, our goal is to see that drop again as much.
- We completely revised our Health Insurance plan for our employees. We lowered deductibles, out of pocket, and copays while at the same time Good Shepherd increased our portion of the premium for the coverages. This was a huge positive given the healthcare premiums in the country are skyrocketing due to Obamacare.
- We have greatly increased the educational opportunities for our employees as part of the new reform package providing funding for a loan forgiveness plan and the scholarship funds available. We have seen an increase in the number of individuals going back to get their RN degree as a result of the new funding.
- We have increased our nursing staff on the Households by adding additional RN coverage to better meet the clinical needs of our residents and tenants.
- Our financial plan includes using some of the new revenue to build four patio homes on our campus.
- Lastly, we intend to finally be able to actually put some money into our investment portfolio for future needs and an improved cash position.