Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gov. Pawlenty cuts elder care

The following is from an article in the Pioneer Press:


What would be cut: $7.5 million by capping home care hours, $5.9 million by adjusting nursing home rate adjustments for the years covering July 2009 through June 2011.

When the cut would begin: July 1, 2009.

Potential impact: With more than a quarter of nursing homes in financial jeopardy, the withdrawal of rate increases may force some to close and reduce access for seniors. Rate adjustments to compensate for inflation already had been eliminated for 2011, but Pawlenty pushed the schedule up one year. Similarly, the state budget already capped personal care aides, or PCAs, at no more than 310 hours of work per month. Pawlenty would cut that to 275 hours. The cap could eliminate some fraudulent billing to the state — some PCAs claimed more than 24 hours of work in a day — but also push some quality aides out of the business. Seniors needing round-the-clock care may struggle to find help and end up in expensive nursing homes sooner than planned.

For the full article detailing Pawlenty's budget cuts, click here.

By Marie Nelson

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