Opinion

READER SOUND-OFF

I am the executive director for a 124-bed facility in Port Orchard. On average, 70 to 75 of our residents rely on Medicaid to help pay for their care.

Underfunding by the state has been a problem for years, but it will get even worse under budgets proposted by the state House and Senate. They want to cut nearly $40 million of Medicaid funding, which would mean a loss of $100 million when Federal matching funds are considered. The cuts proposed by our governor and the state’s legislators have already resulted in a rate reduction of more than $24 per resident per day. Currently the average cost of care per resident in my facility is $254 per day with a reimbursement rate of $148 per day. This creates a shortfall of more than $250,000 per month. The cuts sound staggering and they are. They will no doubt impact our facility and so many others across the state.

Our facility employs more than 170 persons to provide the exceptional quality in services that our residents and their families have become accustomed. While we are committed to continue this quality, we are being forced to initiate cuts in labor and other expenses in attempts to minimize the impact of the rate cuts for our residents. Any staff layoffs here would add to the already increasing unemployment rate and will only further damage our struggling economy.

Tell your legislators not to let that happen and to avoid funding cuts to long-term care. We just can’t afford them!

Raymond Thompson is the executive director of the Life Care Center of Port Orchard.

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