It’s the end of the year, and I’m pelted with solicitations to donate to various charities. I feel bad enough having to make the visceral decision to toss most of the requests into the trash, even though I support just about all of the soliciting charities. I feel especially bad about the fate of one charity in particular: Seven Acres.
I gave a larger than average end-of-year donation to Seven Acres, the Jewish nursing home here in Houston. It has a reputation of being top notch. When I call Seven Acres top notch, I mean that only in relative terms. It is as top notch as possible for a Medicaid-accepting, money-losing nursing facility. I have heard from friends with loved ones at Seven Acres that there are too few caregivers so loved ones often wait a long time for help to come. Seven Acres staff strongly encourages families to hire their own, privately paid, additional caregiver.
Here are just a few of the blogs I’ve done on the unsustainable state of long-term care (LTC) finance in the US: /?s=nursing+home. Because Medicaid pays less than it actually costs to provide care, most facilities run in the red. This causes them to cut corners on the quantity and therefore, the quality of care they can provide.
In its annual solicitation letter, Seven Acres states that in 2013, it “provided over $8 million in charitable care to over 85% of its resident population who rely solely on inadequate Medicaid funding.”
I feel bad knowing that my donation is a drop in the bucket and will not help with Seven Acres’ over all financial problems. Increased demand will cause Seven Acres to continue to run in the red, in what may be a downward spiral. My donation will have no effect on making the changes, and reform, that will be necessary to preserve Medicaid-paid long-term care for our most vulnerable citizens. It will also have no effect on making political changes that are necessary to gain control over our country’s out-of-control Medicaid expenses.
The moral: take charge of your own future dignity and choices with a reasonably priced LTC insurance policy.