In February Governor Eric Greitens announced his budget for the next state fiscal year. The budget included numerous reductions in spending, due to a decrease in state revenue. Much of the revenue decline has been attributed to tax cuts for special interests that have been enacted by the Missouri legislature in recent years.
Included in the budget cuts was $52 million from a program that provides care for the elderly and disabled. Much of the assistance is for in-home care, which helps individuals to remain in their home versus entering a nursing home. Almost 20,000 individuals would have lost benefits. However, in an apparent change of heart, Governor Greitens has decided to restore $41 million to the in-home care program. The governor's office indicated that funding became available because of a recent legal settlement and more federal money.
MCQC will provide more information as it becomes available.
Nursing Home Protest
In concert with Governor Greitens budget reductions is a rollback of a recent 3 percent Medicaid reimbursement rate increase for health care providers, which includes nursing homes. According to the Missouri Health Care Association, this could cause the closure of some nursing homes in Missouri.
Dan Brown, chairman of the Senate committee overseeing the budget, has stated that the change could cause some closures, but probably not a large number.Approximately 500 "skilled nursing facilities" exist in Missouri.
Home Delivered Meal Shortage
Because of state and federal funding cuts in recent years, many senior centers in our state are not able to meet the growing need for home delivered meals for the elderly. Home delivered meal programs help elderly and disabled Missourians to remain in their homes, versus entering a long-term care institution.
Last year MCQC made donations to three senior centers for their home delivered meal programs.
This year MCQC has made donations to eight senior centers and related programs for home delivered meals. At the March board meeting, MCQC will discuss the possibility of raising funds for additional donations. The need is critical. If you are able to do so, you may want to make a contribution to your local senior center or nutrition site to help with the home delivered meal program.
This month, MCQC plans to resume its campaign to educate the general public about the state hotline, which is available to report instances of elder abuse and neglect. Our first ads will appear in March on KMST radio in Rolla, Missouri. Three other radio stations will be added in the coming months. In addition, ads will be placed in weekly newspapers around the state.
Abuse and Neglect
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, prosecutors have charged a Moberly woman with abuse involving a 12 year old boy who was in her care. The boy had cerebral nerve damage and was on a ventilator.
According to the article, the home health worker allegedly hit and kicked the boy, pushed him roughly and threw him into hard surfaces. The abuse was captured on a video provided by the boy's family.
It is unknown where the caretaker was employed. MCQC will attempt to obtain more information.
Donations are welcome
Donations from the public are greatly appreciated. Any amounts large or small are needed. MCQC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Information on how to donate can be found on our website at www.mcqc.com.
Contact us by Mail: Missouri Coalition for Quality Care, PO Box 7165, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Phone: 1-888-262-5644 Email to: email@example.com
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