Letters to the Editor

Baby boomers, Medicaid and nursing homes | Federal Way letters, April 7

Nursing homes provide 24-hour care with licensed nurses for people with disabilities and the elderly, who represent the most vulnerable adults in our communities.

The needs of these people cannot be met in other types of settings such as adult homes, assisted living or boarding homes because of the clinical complexity of their medical conditions, which necessitate 24-hour care.

This month, Washington legislators initiated nursing home cuts that will reduce Medicaid reimbursement approximately 8 percent for all nursing homes and up to 10 to 15 percent in rural facilities.

The state of Washington has made a commitment to improve the quality in nursing homes over the last several years; this is a significant step back. The needs of residents in nursing homes are once again in jeopardy.

These rate cuts affect each aspect of providing care including staffing, dietary needs, supplies, activities, etc. Staff reduction, resultant of these cuts, will take jobs away from many community members who are struggling in this economy to support their families.

The residents in these facilities are the same men and women who have built our country, fought our wars and raised many of us to who we are today. They represent many of the most vulnerable and frail members of our community. These people do not deserve the horrible effects these rate reductions will bring.

Baby boomers beware! The recent decision to cut Medicaid rates in the state of Washington is a decision that will affect all of us in the future, whether first-hand or through a family member or loved one, if medically necessary. The low priority which has been given to looking after our state's rapidly aging population should alarm and frustrate you, Nursing facilities have made great strides in the past 30 years in becoming active and home-like environments where special medical attention can be received. We deserve better both for our current and future nursing home residents.

Bryan Lindsay, Federal Way

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