News from the Long-Term Care Imperative:
Older adult service providers today took action to protect the seniors they care for in preparation for a government shutdown. Aging Services of Minnesota and Care Providers of Minnesota filed an Amicus Brief requesting the courts designate care for the frail elderly as a critical state priority that must be funded.
“We’re asking the courts to do what Governor Dayton and the legislature have failed to do – protect Minnesota’s growing population of frail seniors in need of specialized care and services,” said Patti Cullen, president and CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota.
During the partial government shutdown in 2005 the state continued funding providers of senior care services. Without a similar designation from the governor this time, failure to reach a budget agreement by July 1 will not only jeopardize critical care for Minnesota seniors, but also put at risk the 112,600 jobs and $6.7 billion economic contribution supported by older adult services in the state.
“Governor Dayton and the legislature are approximately $20 million apart with respect to the older adult services portions of the budget. We continue to hope that this gap can be bridged and a shutdown can be avoided,” saidGayle Kvenvold, president and CEO of Aging Services of Minnesota. “But in the event of a shutdown, our petition is intended protect Minnesota seniors from the potentially devastating effects of defunding their care.”
Roughly 29,000 Minnesotans are cared for in nursing homes, and more than 26,000 medical assistance recipients receive care in their homes or assisted living establishments. The Governor’s assumption that nursing homes and assisted living providers could use their reserves to continue to fund essential services during a shutdown is a false assumption.
In fact, some providers have no reserves and have as little as 11 days of operating cash on hand. In addition, a recent study conducted by Larson Allen on behalf of The Long-Term Care Imperative indicates that as many as 63 Minnesota nursing homes are currently facing financial crisis that puts them at potential risk of closure.
If the petition is successful and seniors are temporarily protected, The Long-Term Care Imperative calls on lawmakers to reach an agreement that keeps their promise to seniors and protects the state’s most vulnerable adults by bridging the relatively small gap that remains between the legislature’s and governor’s HHS budget proposals.
The full text of the filing can be downloaded here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/58301653