In the final days of this year's legislative session, our elected officials passed a bill that would have prevented over 8000 Missourians from losing in-home care and nursing home services. The measure would have provided short-term funding for these individuals until a long term solution could have been achieved. Sadly, Governor Greitens vetoed the bill.
During the September veto session, Missouri legislators attempted to override the Governor’s veto. This effort failed, thus ensuring that service cuts for over 8000 elderly and disabled individuals would occur. Since that time, some lawmakers have called for another special session to restore funding for in-home care and nursing home services. Unfortunately, however, they want to restore funding by eliminating a tax credit program for low income seniors. In other words, they would help one group of seniors by hurting other seniors.
MEAL DELIVERY CHANGE
Around 2500 Kansas City homebound elderly citizens will no longer receive a home delivered hot meal effective October 1. After that date, they will be visited once a week and will receive five frozen meals. The Mid America Regional Council administers the program and indicated that the change will save money. Unfortunately, the recipients of the meals will not only lose their hot meal delivery, but also the daily contact with the delivery person. According to individuals involved with the program the daily contact is critical for elderly shut-ins.
According to the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, more than one in four cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police. A national audit conducted by the Office of Inspector General cited Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification.
In another report by the Office of Inspector General, Kansas nursing home inspectors failed to follow up on about half the problems they found in 2014. According to the report, state inspectors only required that the nursing homes submit a corrective action plan, but didn't check to see if the plans worked. MCQC will attempt to discover if this is also occurring in Missouri.
TROUBLE ON THE HORIZON
State budget cuts in recent years have caused great harm to Missouri's elderly and disabled citizens. Home delivered meals, in-home care, financial help to pay for prescriptions, and the state nursing home inspection program have all suffered funding reductions. Tax cuts for special interests and wealthy corporations receive much of the blame.
Beginning in 2018, additional state tax cuts will go into effect. In addition, there is a good possibility that new federal tax cuts will be imposed, placing additional strain on programs for the poor, the elderly, and disabled. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
The mission of MCQC is to improve the quality of care and quality of life of residents in long-term care facilities and recipients of in-home care