The Massachusetts Senior Care Association (MSCA) today released a survey showing 71% of residents in the Commonwealth believe funding for skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers is a top priority.  The survey by the American Health Care Association also shows that 89% agree that a lack of state government funding will have a negative impact on the quality of care.  Other highlights:

  • As the Baby Boom population becomes the fastest growing in the state, 81% of voters say they ‘believe increased funding for nursing home care and direct care staff is a priority,’ and that ‘cuts are not an option.’
     
  • MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, underfunds skilled nursing facility care by $37 a day per resident, making Massachusetts the 4th worst in the nation when it comes to funding.  Since 2 out 3 elders living in Massachusetts skilled nursing facilities rely on MassHealth to pay for their care, many facilities are now operating at a loss and are in jeopardy of closing.  73% of respondents said the state should meet its obligations to adequately fund nursing home care.   
     
  • 76% of Massachusetts residents would support legislation to fund a pathway to a living wage for direct care workers in skilled nursing facilities.

MSCA DataPoints is a regular series outlining important facts and figures related to skilled nursing homes, quality care, funding, and demographics.

 

Background: In 2015, MSCA launched the Quality Jobs for Quality Care initiative, seeking $90 million to provide a pathway to a living wage via a direct wage pass-through for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), dietary staff, laundry staff and other frontline workers.  In the FY 2017 budget, the Baker-Polito Administration and the legislature included $35.5 million for one-time wage increases.  For FY 2018, MSCA continues to seek the $90 million necessary to provide a pathway to a living wage for nursing home workers; retaining the $35.5 million from FY 2017 plus an additional $55 million to fulfill that goal.  Half of the money would come from matching federal funds.  The funding solution is outlined in the Association’s Quality Jobs for Quality Care Initiative. 

The AHCA survey was conducted by Opinion Access Corporation of 802 registered Massachusetts voters, in September, 2016.

ABOUT MSCA:  The Massachusetts Senior Care Association represents a diverse set of organizations that deliver a broad spectrum of services to meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. Its members include more than 400 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, assisted living residences, residential care facilities and continuing care retirement communities. Forming a crucial link in the continuum of care, Mass Senior Care facilities provide housing, health care and support services to more than 120,000 people a year; employ more than 77,000 staff members; and contribute more than $4 billion annually to the Massachusetts economy.

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