What happens when Nursing Home Residents are admitted to the hospital for more than 4 days in a year?
As some of you may know the MaineCare budget is cutting the 10 days bed hold in two stages.
The first stage took effect March 26, 2013 which cut the bed hold from 10 days per incident to 4 days per year. The second phase of this cut will come on July 1st and it is proposed that the bed hold MaineCare coverage be cut completely.
MaineCare Patients residing in nursing homes get their room and board paid for by MaineCare. Most patients in nursing homes become MaineCare recipients sooner or later if they live long enough.
-Patients are literally evicted from their home (the nursing home) when they exceed the 4 days per year hospitalization; if the budget plans go forward they can be evicted the day following their admission to the hospital.
-Most smaller and rural facilities don't have the capacity or financial cushion to eat the cost and keep the beds open. It can cost thousands of dollars each month to keep beds open for hospitalized patients to return to as facilities can easily allow patients from the waiting list to move in and take their place.
-With more than half of the nursing home patients having dementia (based on the most conservative estimates), an increase in such evictions and change of living environment would have well known detrimental effects on these patients health, as they would have a harder time adjusting to a new environment and new caregivers than an average community dwelling patient.
-Last but not least, facilities can use this as a way to get rid of some harder to care for patients.
-The budget cut also removed 1/3 of the ombudsman budget which was later made up for through other parts of the budget. While this leaves the ombudsman budget neutral, it does pave the way for future cuts in their budget.
What can you do to help stop this??
Please click here to read Dr. Fazeli's testimony to the Appropriations Committee and Health and Human Services Committee on this issue.