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WHCA Launches Assisted Living Advocacy Initiative

Our work on Washington Medicaid funding in assisted living must be very focused over the next two weeks. The state revenue forecast is scheduled for March 20; the Senate Majority budget will be released soon after. We are working to help your legislators understand the importance of funding your Medicaid rates, but let's face it,

 

YOU MAKE THE BEST ARGUMENTS ABOUT YOUR QUALITY.

Please make it a point to help legislators understand what you do and why it’s important to fund your care and services. The first priority is the Senate.

It is important to personally communicate with your Senator, and even more important to have your residents, families, and employees also contact their legislators. Here are

materials to help you communicate.

Call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to leave a message for your Senator. Here’s the message – "Make it a priority to fund Medicaid assisted living care."

 

And, take a minute to email your legislators asking for support. Let them know:

 

There is no legislative oversight for DSHS rates setting in assisted living: Skilled nursing facilities have statutory protections including provisions to update rates biennially; adult family home and in-home providers have annual collective bargaining rights. Lack of oversight means rates have been overlooked for years.

 

The DSHS rates model for assisted living rates has not been updated since 2005, leading the Legislature to make decisions based on incomplete and inaccurate information, to the detriment of assisted living-contracted providers. Assisted living provides an excellent value for the state, including 24/7 care, meals, housekeeping, food, medications assistance, nursing services and more. Those services are delivered in a physical plant that is purpose-built to serve frail people – fire sprinklers, burn doors, and fire alarms are all part of the protections for frail residents. Because rates benchmarks have not been adjusted for 8 years, Medicaid rates fall short by over $10/resident day and providers must stringently limit their service to Medicaid residents. An increase in rates is an investment in quality care.

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