Over the past 7 years I’ve continually informed you of the Legislature’s failure to provide adequate reimbursement for Older Adult Services in Minnesota. In the last Legislative Session that all changed.
As part of bold reform package, the Legislature passed a new cost-based reimbursement system finally removing the antiquated COLA approach to paying for services in the Nursing Home. The average Nursing Home in Minnesota will receive anywhere from an 18% – 25% increase. While that sounds like a huge amount, it is, but if you remember we received one increase in 7 year (5%) all the while they reduced other portions of our rate structure, whereby our overall increase was basically zero. Had our profession received the normal 2% – 3% inflationary increases annually as other businesses did, the amount would not have been so large. Think about it this way, 7 years times 3% equals 21%. Basically the Legislature brought us up to where we should have been all along.
It is no secret that almost every Older Adult Service provider struggled with workforce issues in the last 3 years mainly because we were unable to keep pace with the wages other businesses were paying their employees. This new reimbursement system will allow us be much more competitive and pay our employees a fair wage for the difficult work they do. We believe this will go a long way in our ability to hire and retain our staff. Ultimately that improves quality of care!
Lastly, we fought hard in the Legislature to get this reform package passed, but our work is not done. While they passed this bold reform for the Nursing Homes, the Home and Community Based Services sector was left untouched. We must address this with our legislators for the next fiscal cycle. Those employees deserve the same increases and benefits as our Nursing Home employees.
If you would like to know more about what this legislation specifically does, please feel free to make an appointment with me.