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State Budget Cuts Could Affect Nursing Home Care

As we head closer and closer to the end of our legislative session for 2011, it becomes increasingly important to stay alert and be aware of pending proposals that could have quite an impact.

See Also: Despite Promises, Home Care Lags

Case in point: Could a $70 million+ cut in Medicaid reimbursement for nursing homes and specialty hospitals endanger our most vulnerable citizens? Could it create nursing home nightmares?

Unfortunately, the answer is “yes” to both of those questions.

The proposed cuts in the State Budget could threaten the quality of care for many seniors who do not have options other than nursing home care. We all probably know someone in this situation. Nursing home care, while not always the first choice for many consumers, is sometimes the only choice. Quality nursing homes play a vital role for many of us as we age.

The State ought to do more to provide home- and community-based care options, but until it does, we need high-quality nursing home care firmly in place.

During an AARP “tele-town hall” on April 20, AARP asked Governor Christie to review the proposed budget cuts and possibly restore some of the funding. The Governor gave an affirmative response and stated his shared concern regarding quality of care. That’s good news. AARP trusts he will to do his best to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Cuts to nursing facilities could easily result in personnel layoffs, and for vulnerable people in nursing homes, this could be dangerous. Less is definitely not more when it comes to nursing care.

Find more information about what is happening in the NJ state legislature.

Call to Action: Please call Governor Christie at 609-292-6000 and urge him to protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens and preserve high-quality nursing home care.