I have read articles, and heard news stories about Governor Blunt's proposal to trim Missouri's Social Services program in regards to toughening the eligibility standards for Medicaid, and eliminating some of the service it covers all together. It is getting a lot of attention, and there are many people concerned about the impact these changes could have for Missouri citizens.
There is another issue regarding changes Governor Blunt has made that has made a huge impact for one of our most precious commodities, our elderly population. Nursing homes received an increase in their funding last year for the first time in three years. There was a lot of data used to determine what these increases should be based on what our cost of caring for these individuals were.
When we received the additional funding we made commitments to our staff and our residents. We gave our staff long over due raises, we added some additional benefits, and started on capital improvements of the facilities where these elderly patients live. We can not take the things we have already committed to back as it would not be right, yet the state has failed to carry through with the commitment it made to us.
The cuts made in our funding are astronomical. The entire industry is reeling from this financial blow. It could very well cause some providers to go out of business. This will, in turn, impact the quality of care, and quality of life of out residents.
Long term care is very heavily regulated. We are required to have the highest standards of care, certain staffing levels, and provide many services and supplies. No one wants to see these very deserving people receive all these services and supplies anymore than those of us that are here every day taking care of them, but there has to be adequate funding to pay for it.
These people have worked hard all of their lives, and paid in taxes, and we can not let them down or think that they have less value or worth as a human being that any other Missouri citizen. I am urging everyone to contact our Governor and let him know that you think elderly sick people deserve quality care and that the people providing the care need adequate funding to accomplish the task.
Long-term care administrator
Portageville Nursing Center