Kasich cuts funding for senior in home care


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In the Dispatch this morning there was an interesting article detailing the cuts Governor Kasich has proposed in his budget for in home care for poor, elderly citizens.  You may remember that during the Governor’s State of the State address he strongly pointed to the fact that he wanted to be able to make it easier for elderly citizens to stay in their homes, instead of moving into a nursing home to receive nursing care.

“Mom and dad can stay at home. Instead of going into a nursing home, go and talk to your mom and dad about going in a nursing home sometime. You know what will happen if they can stay at home and get help? They’re going to be happier and more comfortable and taxpayers will save a bundle of money.”

No one disagrees with the value that in home care can have on a senior and the amount of dollars it can safe the state.  In fact the main program that seniors use to receive assistance from the state for in home care is PASSPORT and this year alone the state is going to spend $518 million on this program. As steep as that sounds home health care is a deal as compared to sending seniors into nursing homes.

“There are about 32,000 Ohioans enrolled in the program (PASSPORT), and the average cost per person per month is $1,344. The state will spend $518.7 million on the Passport program this year.

In contrast, the state pays an average of $4,017 per person per month for nursing-home care.”

It is pretty easy to see why in home care is so attractive to states with budget constraints.  They can save money by choosing in home care over nursing home care and the seniors who receive this care would rather be at home anyways than living in a nursing home.  So this may come to a surprise then to seniors all over the state:

“Kasich’s proposed cuts to Passport are 10.4 percent next year and 6.4 percent in 2013. That includes a 3 percent cut in pay next year to providers, such as aides and day-care workers, and a 15 percent cut next year to area agencies on aging for their operating costs.”

LSC estimates that between the cuts described above and additional ones included int he budget the total reduction in PASSPORT spending will be near $176 million over the biennium.

With the Governor pushing more and more senior citizens into using in home care why does it make sense to cut funding to the program?  As the Dispatch points out, in home health care caseloads are expected to grow by 7% over the biennium, so at the very least you would have thought the administration could have held PASSPORT at the funding levels it is currently at.  Instead, Kasich wants more seniors to stay in their homes to receive care but the services that they need are going to be reduced.  Nothing like having a good idea and then half-assing it.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. A nursing home is an example of “Economics of Scale). The idea that a heath care aide driving house to house is cheaper then the same aide walking 5 feet down the hall to help multiple patients is absurd.
    In a nursing home that aide has experienced, knowledgeable help.
    They do not have that in a private residence.

  2. I think the idea is silly.. every one that has lost there factory jobs has went back to school for nursing it has always been a safe career now what? I work as a nurse aide in a nursing home but I have also done home health and its a pain to drive from house to house maybe 10houses a day to earn LESS money that what you do in a home and only have to walk the halls all day I really feel a lot more gets dome in nursing homes the aides are watched over abuse isn’t as common. and when you have home health god only knows what is happening to your parent what kind of person they have sent to take care of them just because they passed a background check doesn’t mean any thing. I really enjoy my job watching people getting better and getting to go home and knowing they have the care they need 24hours a day not just a couple hours a day like home health. I really don’t understand all of this why they are wanting to take from the elderly I guess because they can do nothing about it. I think it is very sad that that not only the elderly but our veterans are having to deal with this….

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