The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.
See how your legislator voted on nursing home cuts
Erin Buie | May 3, 2019 | 952-851-2482
Last Thursday evening, Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), offered an amendment to remove the $68 million in nursing home cuts contained in the House DFL’s Health & Human Services omnibus bill. After vigorous debate on the amendment, which you can watch here
at the 1 hour 29 minute mark, members voted on the amendment. The amendment failed on a 56–73 vote. To see how your legislator voted, click here
or see below:
Those who voted in the affirmative voted to remove the $68 million in nursing home cuts from the bill; those who voted in the negative voted to retain the $68 million in nursing home cuts.
If you don’t know who your legislator is, you can find out here
Care Providers of Minnesota encourages you to contact your legislator and thank them if they voted for the amendment. If your legislator voted no, you should also contact them and express your concerns and explain how this vote hurts the workers at your nursing home and the seniors they serve.
You can also write a letter to your local newspaper thanking your legislator OR expressing your disappointment at their vote.
If you listen to the debate, you will hear that the House DFL claims that there are no cuts and that the information on cuts is misleading. In fact, House members received data from the Department of Human Services (DHS), and their caucus leadership related to the $68 million in cuts to nursing facilities proposed in HF2414. The data that was sent to them from DHS differed dramatically from the facility-specific data developed and distributed by your Associations. We want you to know the truth, so below please find the talking points related to data integrity, especially since several legislative leaders publicly questioned the data we shared with you. We believe our data to be accurate and to portray the complete picture of the implications to your budgets now and in the future.
Telling the full story
- DHS data did not combine all of the reductions and rate changes that impact each facility in one document—they omitted the significant reduction in the “other operating costs” in their facility-specific data sheets. The reductions to other-operating rates is the biggest reduction and impacts all nursing facilities the same.
- Other operating is a price based on the median facility in the twin cities metro area. It does not consider the costs of any other nursing facility, whether they are higher or lower than the price. Nursing facilities must manage to the price, and this will make it more difficult for all.
- The DHS data shared did not include the dramatic impact in the years past this next biennium. This is especially critical for the property reimbursement rate changes where they take away any hold harmless in subsequent years.
- Reimbursement payments are delayed up to 27 months after the costs are incurred so these data runs did not reflect the fact that new costs incurred today, especially in the other operating category, will not be paid under the House proposal.
- While overall the data shows roughly a 5% increase in nursing facility rates for the next biennium, these increases are averages, and the House HHS bill creates new winners and losers. In addition, the much-needed investments in nursing facility rates only started on 1/1/2016—we haven’t had enough time under this system to know whether we have caught up and what changes may need to be made on a prospective basis.
- The Long-Term Care Imperative only identified the nursing facilities that are likely to receive a care-related cut as projecting specific rate changes required too many assumptions. The care-related cuts, portrayed as quality incentive adjustments, can only be projections due to the timing of cost reports and quality scores. Both DHS and the Long-Term Care Imperative are projecting which nursing facilities will see cuts from current care related rates by the end of the second biennium (DHS estimates 20%).
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