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Golden Quill: Support those who care for all of our loved ones

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To the Editor:

We are writing this letter to educate the community on House File 886 and Senate File 792 that would provide a 5 percent rate increase for long-term care providers.

It has been four years since nursing homes rates have been increased. The state controls on average 82 percent of the revenue nursing homes receive through Medicaid rates and rate equalization law.

Medicaid rates to our facility have not been increased in four years. This directly impacts our wages; the average wage for a nursing assistant is $11 per hour. The bills we pay for services, linen, electricity, gas, water, food, supplies, etc. have been increasing 5-8 percent annually while reimbursement rate has been frozen.

We work in long-term care because our seniors deserve care givers who care and can do a good job. We are concerned about the strain placed on care givers and the impact it can have on the people for whom we care for.

Because the state controls 82 percent of the revenue that we receive in our nursing home, we need support on rate increases so that we can provide wage increases for our staff and can continue to pay our bills.

So why don't we go work in a factory or other higher paying jobs? We love what we do! We love the people we care for. Our residents are someone's mother, father, grandma or grandpa who need 24-hour, 365 days of love, patience, dedication and care.

We are always being thanked for the extra care and time we give from our residents. If we had more staff/money to care for these individuals, all of us would be able to take extra time with residents and families to help with the dying process. We work in long-term care because our seniors deserve care givers who care and can do a good job.

Please educate yourself more about House File 886/Senate File 792 by visiting careproviders.org. Show your support by contacting Rep. Tim Kelly and Sen. Matt Schmit and ask them to support legislation that will provide a 5 percent rate increase for long-term care providers.

St. Brigid's at Hi-Park staff members

Shirley Anderson

Nursing assistant/registered

Sue Huffman

Licensed practical nurse

Samantha Schwarting

NAR/trained medication assistant

Red Wing

Tracy Thornton

Licensed practical nurse

Hager City

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