Despite an overall HHS Budget that cut over $300 million in healthcare spending, Minnesota nursing home workers won a historic new rate system that invests $138 million over the next two years. The average home will see an increase of a little over 20%, finally bringing reimbursement rates up to the cost of care after decades of underfunding. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center should see rates go up around 37%.
The new nursing home reimbursement system contains several features that reflect long-standing SEIU priorities.
- Rates will reflect the actual cost/price of care and will go up automatically as cost/price goes up. No more will workers have to go to the legislature every two years to request a raise.
- The upper limit on price and cost will be set by a single state-wide figure based on Metro area expenses. No more lower 2nd and 3rd tier rates for homes outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
- Automatic Nursing Home rate increases budgeted as costs go up.
- For homes with collective bargaining agreements, past expenses will not be eligible for increased funding without union agreement. We preserved the voice of workers in spending decisions.
For years, SEIU nursing home workers like Louise Duffee, union steward at Texas Terrace nursing home have be testifying at legislative hearings, attending Lobby Day, donating to COPE and volunteering for legislative candidates. All of the hard work had paid off with a historic victory.