Thursday, April 1, 2010

California ADHCs In Jeapordy

As advocates for quality adult day health care, we wanted to draw some attention to Budget Item 4260 currently before California legislators, who are seeking ways to close a huge budget gap. The Governor is proposing to eliminate ADHC facilities statewide to save money. But, in the long run it will cost the state far, far more.

Here’s why:

  • The loss of more than 7,600 jobs from center personnel layoffs will add $94 million to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. In addition, almost 14,000 working Californians will be forced to quit to care for their loved one, further adding to the loss of income tax revenue.

  • Thousands more elderly, mentally ill and Alzheimer’s patients will be forced to use already overwhelmed Emergency Rooms and nursing homes for medical crises. This shift to hospitals and nursing homes is conservatively estimated to cost the state $221,400,000 in Medi-Cal State General Fund costs. That almost $89 million more than the Governor’s proposed $134,700,000 General Fund savings from ADHC closures.

  • California also will lose $216 million in federal matching funds – free money the state an ill afford to turn down.

  • As the California Association for Adult Day Services notes: “The ‘paper savings’ generated by eliminating all of the state’s 327 Adult Day Health Care facilities will cost more in dollars and lives than it saves.”

    CAADS is instead supporting an alternative bill (AB 2073) which would amend eligibility criteria to conform with federal laws and to clarify definitions. This makes criteria legally compliant with federal laws while continuing the state Legislature’s policy of targeting ADHC to the most needy beneficiaries.

    You can read a brief history of Adult Day Health Care in California here.

    And this editorial on why closing Adult Day Care Health Centers is a bad idea.