The following statement was issued today by the President of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association in response to the Baker-Polito Fiscal 2018 budget recommendation:
Massachusetts nursing homes face an unprecedented financial crisis. Nearly half are operating in the red, vacancies for critical staff positions are increasing at a sharp rate, and quality of care is threatened due to inadequate Medicaid funding for nursing home care, which pays for two-thirds of patients.
MSCA continues to push for the Quality Jobs for Quality Care campaign, which calls for $90 million to provide a pathway to a living wage for nursing home workers.
The Governor’s budget contained the continuation of a $35.5 million wage pass-through, which was a good first step. But we urge legislators to support the additional $55 million needed to further move frontline workers along a path to a living wage. Without this funding, skilled nursing facilities in the Commonwealth face closures and further destabilization of the workforce, both of which will impact thousands of families who rely on our facilities and our dedicated workers to care for their loved ones.
----Tara Gregorio, President, MA Senior Care Association.
The Massachusetts Senior Care Association represents a diverse set of organizations that deliver a broad spectrum of services to meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. Its members include more than 400 nursing and rehabilitation facilities, assisted living residences, residential care facilities and continuing care retirement communities. Forming a crucial link in the continuum of care, Mass Senior Care facilities provide housing, health care and support services to more than 120,000 people a year; employ more than 77,000 staff members; and contribute more than $4 billion annually to the Massachusetts economy.