Care Center’s Bruinsma asks people to attend legislative forum

Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:14 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

Can you afford to pay $5,566 for a month of nursing home care?

That is the minimum amount residents who don’t receive Medicaid benefits, pay out of their own pockets to reside in the Akron Care Center, Administrator Alan Briunsma told trustees at their Nov. 14 meeting. It’s $66,795 annually for the lowest level of care.

Recently, Medicare/Medicaid Services approved the waiver which eliminating a 90 days retroactive time period for nursing home residents and their families to apply and be approved for Medicare/Medicaid benefits.

For example, if a resident was approved for Medicaid in November, Medicaid would pay for October and September, too, if the resident ran out of money in September and the resident or their family didn’t realize they needed to apply immediately. Now, the month a resident runs out of money, he or she must immediately apply and be approved for Medicaid assistance. Otherwise, the resident will owe for nursing home care, and he or she probably won’t have the money to pay it.

Most importantly, this could put the nursing home itself in financial jeopardy as they may not receive payment, and that may ultimately cause residents to be denied care.

Legislative Forums

At the Akron Care Center Board of Trustees’ Nov. 14 meeting, Administrator Alan Bruinsma asked trustees to consider attending local state legislators’ next public forums.

“If you can make either one of the forums, that would be great because this is our opportunity to say the waiver eliminating the 90-day look-back is not going to work very well,” said Bruinsma. “It’s going to cost nursing homes money and it’s going to probably deny access to services to some of our people if they haven’t gotten Medicaid and are applying for it.”

Letters to Legislators

Bruinsma also recommended trustees approve sending a letter to state legislators serving on the Administrative Rules Committee.

Trustee Crystal Manley made the motion to have trustees sign and send this letter to the legislative committee members. Trustee Pam Von Hagel seconded it, and it passed unanimously, 4-0 with Trustee Brad Britton absent. Bruinsma emailed the signed letter to all of the Administrative Rules Committee members.

Akron Councilor Alex Pick, which is the city’s liaison to the trustees, requested they send a letter to Rep. Chuck Holz, too.

Letters to Residents

Bruinsma also asked the trustees to approve an annual letter to residents and/or their families.

This annual letter, which will be sent each November/December,

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