I have been a Licensed Administrator and served for 37 years in multiple settings in South Dakota and Minnesota. While I’ve seen some difficult economic times over the years, the last six years have been more difficult than the previous 31 years put together. Since “The Great Recession” of 2008 and the State’s budget shortfalls, the cuts and freezes to Older Adult Services have “come home to roost.”
The greatest problem we face today is workforce issues. Because of the freezes and cuts, we did not have the revenues available to us to adjust wages as other businesses did. Other businesses are able to simply increase the price of their goods or services to pay their staff the wages they needed. We are unable to do so since the Legislature determines the rates we can charge for our services.
Over the past six years the rate cuts and freezes have put Providers in a very difficult position. While the revenue has decreased or been frozen, expenses have gone up BUT not a single regulation has been deleted. In fact, the current Administration in Washington and CMS have added many more regulations and heightened expectations regarding paperwork and day to day operations.
In January, the Long Term Care Associations launched a bold new reform proposal that will not only give providers a rate increase this year but sets the stage for the State and providers to serve the needs of older adults through the demographic shift we are experiencing. Minnesota needs to finally get away from the old reimbursement “yoyo” effect (we are the yoyo, the legislature is the string that pulls us up and down each year). We need a stable reimbursement system that supports the services older adults want and deserve. With the demographic changes happening in Minnesota, the funding for Older Adult Services must become a priority in this legislative session. The longer the legislature waits, the greater the pain in the future.
As our society ages, we have a responsibility to meet the needs of those moving to our facilities. It may be your dad or mom or a grandparent, and yes someday, it may be you or I. When it is my time, I want enough caregivers with compassion to take care of me and my needs!
I am writing this blog and asking you to contact your legislator and ask them to support HF 316 and SF 273.
If you are willing to assist, contact us for assistance with finding your legislator, or look up HERE and email them with your support of bills.
Bruce Glanzer, CEO/President