Lee: ‘We will suffer’Published 12:03pm Tuesday, August 21, 2012
“We will suffer.”
That’s what Cecily Lee, administrator at Brown Nursing Home, said will be the outcome if the Sept. 18 Medicaid amendment is not approved.
“I think people have to really understand what this amendment’s about, and I hope we can encourage people to get out and vote and support Medicaid,” Lee said.
Lee said about 68 percent of nursing home residents in Alabama are on Medicaid, which is also approximately the percentage of Medicaid residents at Brown Nursing Home.
“We are taking care of people who aren’t able to take care of themselves,” Lee said. “Their conditions are such that their families aren’t able to keep them home and take care of them. I think the nursing home industry is extremely important … I know we have to survive, and I know the people need us to survive – they need our services.”
Lee explained that although Medicare is the age-based government healthcare system, many nursing home residents wind up on Medicaid.
“Even your Medicare residents can become your long-term Medicaid residents,” Lee said. Residents who meet the requirements for Medicaid can begin using it to cover what Medicare won’t cover.
“We are an important part of the healthcare system and an important part of this community – the cuts that we could face, if the amendment doesn’t pass, would make things difficult, without a doubt,” Lee said. “Just like with any business you run, if you cut out revenue for 68 percent of your business, it is going to be significant.”
Lee said the cuts in funding might affect everything from how many people they can employ to what services they are able to offer.
Brown Nursing Home and other nursing homes throughout the state have become involved in the Keep Alabama Working campaign, which, through the use of brochures, fliers and posters, is trying to educate people about the effects of the amendment not being approved.
“It’s going to have a very negative impact on the nursing home industry in Alabama and create hardships,” Lee said. “Everyone’s going to be affected, directly or indirectly, by this. I think the amendment is the only option we have right now.”