I’m aware I’m speaking to the choir, but isn’t it just aggravating to see people in Washington, D.C. think they know what’s best for Northwest Wyoming, a region they’ve …
I’m aware I’m speaking to the choir, but isn’t it just aggravating to see people in Washington, D.C. think they know what’s best for Northwest Wyoming, a region they’ve probably never even been to unless to visit Yellowstone?
From grizzly bears to energy standards, rules that clearly sound good to people in Washington are met with disdain here.
Now they’re at it again, and this time rural senior living centers look to be affected.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have a proposed rule intended to make nursing homes and other senior assisted living centers safer, but according to the directors of those institutions in Powell, could wind up forcing similar centers in rural areas to close.
In other words, the rules that sound great on paper, in Washington, D.C., don’t actually work here.
For one, as Acting Nursing Home Administrator Michelle Petrich remarked, it seems they’ve decided more paperwork for her will make seniors safer. If that’s not a classic case of central government bureaucracy, I don’t know what is.
The toughest rule to follow, that could force especially rural centers to close, actually sounds pretty great at first blush: Where currently care centers are required to have an RN work one eight-hour shift per day, the new rule would mandate 24-hour RN coverage on the floor, meaning Petrich, who is an RN, wouldn’t count as she’s an administrator.
Who wouldn’t want more RN coverage? Good luck finding qualified people to work locally, and good luck paying them when the federal government already doesn’t pay enough through Medicare and Medicaid to compensate hospitals.
And, of course, as Powell Valley Healthcare Chair R.J. Kost noted, this is yet another unfunded mandate proposal.
So what happens when care centers in areas without enough RNs and LPNs — there’s a national shortage of those positions — can’t meet the mandate? They close, as some in the area have already done due to not having the needed support.
So, is no care center better than one lacking full-time RN coverage?
Local leaders are fighting back, getting board members to write to the feds expressing opposition to the proposal.
Hopefully they’ll listen.