By Steve Moran
This is the second article in a two-part series. You can read the first article HERE.
The Government Sucks
I confess to being broken-hearted when I hear how nursing home regulators are responding to nursing homes. It is obscene and immoral. It speaks to the broken nature of the skilled nursing regulatory reimbursement systems.
It is Obscene and Immoral . . . that the best regulators can do is issue new rules and regulations that skilled nursing operators are having to address while addressing million times more critical issues of saving the lives of residents and team members.
It is Obscene and Immoral . . . that even though the government knows they do not provide enough money to adequately staff nursing homes, they have not stepped up with the funds needed to provide the staffing levels needed to keep teams safe and provide good care.
It is Obscene and Immoral . . . that while hospitals are getting all kinds of help sourcing PPE, they look to senior living and shrug their shoulders saying “you’re on your own”.
It is Obscene and Immoral . . . that public officials are telling families to get their loved ones out of senior living to save their lives when they actually have no idea what they are talking about . . . none at all.
It is Obscene and Immoral . . . that senior living does not have ready access to testing and rapid results.
It Is Not About Us
This is not fundamentally about us and our senior living operators, investors, and vendors. It is all about heroic team members and vulnerable older people who built this country. People who fought in wars, invented things, built things, paid taxes, voted, and raised their families. It is about people who come to work every day even when they could make more money by collecting welfare or unemployment plus stimulus checks. It is about who we are as a people. It is about what kind of a soul we have.
The Second Wave
There will be a second wave without government intervention, the lawyers are already trolling for clients so they can sue senior living communities. Their public message is “protect others” and “make them pay”. They don’t give a rat’s ass about anything other than collecting fees. If the government does not step in, we will see a bloom of lawsuits that will destroy some operators and dramatically increase costs for others.
We need a federal “COVID-19 Compensation Fund” to keep the legal community from becoming the piranhas attacking senior living.
The Right Art
Figuring out how to get politicians behind your cause is an exercise in art rather than science. I worry that most of the lobbying efforts by senior living entities have been focused on making nice and not insulting anyone. I get it, but I believe we need to get more aggressive. We need to enlist families and we need to figure out how to get some celebrities engaged in making sure that the folks who made the country we have today are protected.
What is your opinion about adding to your O & I list above that not only does the government not provide enough money, it permits re-characterization of an individual’s assets so that they can qualify for government assistance. This is so there is an inheritance. We all know that there are attorneys who specialize in this activity, touting its legality and taking pride in doing the manipulation.
Some Medicaid beneficiaries in nursing homes have luxury SUVs in the garage of their primary residence, which can be a large home with pool, in a gated community. Many states either do not have the resources or the statutes to chase those assets for reimbursement back to the state upon death.
Some readers here may disagree with my comments. If so, I’m open to hearing your justifications.