Friday, February 1, 2013

Responsibility to Residents

Save Long Term Care

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If approved state cuts are implemented as planned, Mayers Memorial Hospital District may be forced to close Long Term Care facilities. Long Term Care cost per day for FY 2011-12 was $255 with a break even reimbursement rate of $255. The cuts would result in a 22% decrease in reimbursement and a new daily reimbursment rate of $201. The economic impact of these cuts equals $1.6 million annually. Reduced reimbursement would have a devastating effect on our long term care facilities and local hospital. With reimbursement payments not covering costs, the hospital would be faced with closing the nursing home facilities. The result would be displacement of many long term care residents with the nearest facilities being over 75 miles away.
The facilities in Redding would only accommodate less than 20% of the current residents. Others would have to relocate to Sacramento or beyond, meaning an 8-10 hour round trip for family members. Additionally, many of the other facilities are private and only accept a certain percentage of Medi-Cal patients. Ninety-seven percent of the residents at the Fall River and Burney Long Term Care facilities are Medi-Cal patients. 
It is documented that when a move like this occurs, a patients’ life expectancy drops by 30%. Numbers cannot measure the loneliness and sadness a patient endures or the difficulties imposed on a family. Many patients experience stress that can cause an increase in dementia, anxiety, weight loss and depression with a high percentage that die within six months of relocating. If beds in the Mayers’ facilities are terminated as a result of the cuts, patients and their families will be irrepairably affected.
In addition, the closure of any part of the local facility would have a negative effect on our rural community. The layoff of over 100 employees collecting over $3.7 million in payroll and benefits would economically impact our community, local residents and businesses.

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