Workers go to Springfield to fight Medicaid cuts
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:12PM
Administrators and staff from nursing homes in the Chicagoland area headed to Springfield Thursday, May 17, to lobby their state Representatives and Senators. The group outlined the catastrophic impact of proposed Medicaid cuts to nursing homes in Illinois, which jeopardizes their jobs and their ability to provide nursing home residents with quality care.
Nursing homes involved in the trip included:
Elmwood Care Inc., Elmwood Park;
Villa Scalabrini Nursing and Rehab, Northlake;
Renaissance at Hillside, Hillside;
Courtyard Healthcare Center, Berwyn;
Jackson Square Nursing and Rehab Center, Chicago;
California Gardens Nursing and Rehab Center, Chicago;
Bridgeview Health Care Center, Bridgeview;
Renaissance at 87th, Chicago;
Glenshire Nursing and Rehab Center, Richton Park;
Holy Family Villa, Palos Park.
“We are putting a face to these cuts,” executive director of the Health Care Council of Illinois Pat Comstock said. “This should not be all about numbers because it’s about people. Nursing home staff make a real difference in our communities and the lives of residents who consider them family.”
While it took the state years to amass the crippling Medicaid deficit, the Governor proposed a $2.7 billion reduction to the Medicaid budget this year. At issue in the Medicaid debate is a proposed reduction in state funding to nursing homes across Illinois where nearly 60,000 Medicaid residents reside. With 70 cents of every dollar spent for staff, cuts as deep as those proposed by the Governor would have a dramatic impact on jobs. Nursing homes cannot stay open unless they have adequate levels of staffing.
Medicaid funding is critical for providing specialized care such as rehabilitation beds and restrictive diets for residents, Comstock said.“
Proper funding also ensures our homes can enact the safety measures mandated by the state’s nursing home reform law.”
“Illinois is dead last in Medicaid reimbursements. That’s strike one,” Comstock said. “Illinois is eight months and more than $600 million delinquent in paying nursing homes. “That’s strike two. If the proposed cuts become reality, it’ll be strike three, and Illinois cannot afford to strike out. State leaders and elected officials need to step up to the plate and go to bat for Illinois’ vital nursing homes.”
HCCI is holding more than a dozen lobby days in the coming weeks, bringing staff from every corner of the state to the capitol. These lobbying activities are part of a broader campaign and build on a recent statewide tour to generate awareness for the campaign to Step up for Nursing Home Residents. The multi-city tour took place from late April through early May and united nursing home staff, residents and family members at 16 facilities around a common theme of ensuring quality care for nursing home residents in Illinois.