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May 20, 1988 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-05-20

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I LOCAL NEWS I

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Medicaid

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"This is pure speculation?"
said JHA Administrator Alan
Funk, "but we are studying
our options?' These could in-
clude closing or selling one
facility — "probably Prentis
Manor" with its 100 beds —
cutting beds overall, and cut-
ting programs and services.
Funk said the JHA also
would consider charging more
for private pay patients, in-
creasing the number of
private pays from barely 25
percent of the. 418 JHA
residents to 35 percent, and
reducing the number of
Medicaid patients.
In January, officials
reported that Jewish corn-
munity funding for the JHA's
Borman Hall in Detroit,
Fleischman Residence in
West Bloomfield and Prentis
Manor in Southfield would
continue at the rate of $1.1
million per year.
JHA had made some head-
way in reducing the deficit,
which has forced the JHA and
Jewish Welfare Federation to
kick in additional funds from
the Allied Jewish Campaign
and JHA endowments.
But the governor's plans to
reduce-the proposed 1988-89
Medicaid budget once again
boosted the JHA's projected
deficit for next year.
JHA officials joined a lobby-
ing effort in Lansing on Tues-
day, organized by the for-
profit and not-for-profit nurs-
ing home organizations in
Michigan. Administrators
Funk and Marcia Mittelman,
and board members Robert
Steinberg, Maxine Canvasser
and Dan Clark met with
legislators to discuss the
situation.
Funk, JHA's executive vice
president, said the state pro-
posal "took us completely by
surprise?'
The Blanchard Administra-
tion proposed a Medicaid cut
which was supported by the
House Appropriations Com-
mittee, he said.
"The irony of it all," said
Funk, "is that we had really
found some stability"
through cutbacks and cost
saving "until this hit."
Another option, he said, is
closing one floor at Borman
Hall, reducing capacity by 60
beds.
"If we have to cut beds, no
one else is going to want the
Medicaid patients either,"
said Funk. "Medicaid pa-
tients will be forced into the
worst facilities — this is going
to affect everyone who is poor
and old," including persons
who use the Federtion Apart-
ments, Jewish Family Service
and other Jewish agencies.
JHA has a waiting list of
40-50 persons and an addi-
tional 200-300 families have

made inquiries about their
facilities.
In addition, the federal
government is mandating
classroom and on-the-job
training, which is expected to
force up pay for workers who
now start out earning $3.75
per hour. A requirement that
registered nurses be on duty
seven days per week will be
an additional expense.
State Senator R. Robert
Geake (R-Northville), chair-
man of the Senate Appropria-
tions subcommittee on social
services, said the legislature
is facing a difficult assign-
ment. The federal govern-
ment reduced Michigan's
Medicaid budget 1.5 percent,
which was reflected in the
governor's proposed budget.
Geake said the State
Department of Social Ser-
vices budget from the House
came to the Senate "$30
million over target and the
Medicaid budget is under-
funded by $45.5 million. So
the subcommittee is going to
have to find $75 million
somewhere!'
Geake said the Senate
wants to finish its work on
the budget by the end of the
month, and send the ap-
propriations bill to conference
committee in June.
"But we can't do this in a
vacuum. In my opinion we
have to give the nursing
homes at least the same
amount as last year?'
Jewish Welfare Federation
leaders have expressed deep
concern about the continuing
deficits at JHA. Martin
Kraar, Federation executive
vice president, was asked this
week if the Jewish communi-
ty could continue to make up
the full deficit.
"It's a serious problem?'
Kraar said.
"Federation has a continu-
ing commitment to serving
the elderly. We have to find a
solution. This new deficit is a
problem that has just hit us,
and we'll have to assess all
the options?'
JHA President Daniel
Clark said the agency has no
commitment from Federation
to "make up the Medicaid
gap!' He added that the agen-
cy is focusing on lobbying his
week, "trying to get involved
with a lot of different people
who are involved in Lansing
. . . The governor and the
legislature are being very
shortsighted if they think
they can just abandon their
parents!'
Last night, JHA presnted
its budget proposal for next
year to Federation's Com-
munity Services Division.
Chairman Harvey Gordon
said that the state budget pro-
posal has presented the divi-

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