Care providers protest proposed changes in reimbursement

Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Care providers are protesting proposed changes to some state regulations that they say would require more work for less pay from those who provide daily living assistance to the elderly.

The proposal has come from the Alaska Department of Administration.

''We are sick and tired of the administration jacking with our pay,'' said Monta Faye Lane, president of Alaska Caregivers Association, one of about 20 providers who attended a public hearing Wednesday.

The new regulations would require that assisted living homes increase services in several ways while at the same time accepting a 60 percent decrease in compensation from the state. Average compensation from the state per person per day is $60.

One of the drafters behind the changes said that providers for low needs clients would probably receive less pay from the state and providers for high needs clients would probably not see an overall pay change.

''The rate is going to be more in line with the needs of the client,'' said Dwight Becker, program coordinator for Adult Protective Services and Assisted Living Licensing programs.

Becker said the hope is that federal money will replace the loss in state funds, but he said he won't know for sure until federal mandates are approved.

Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, helped usher in legislation to increase pay for assisted living home providers. He thinks his legislation is being manipulated, and he plans to fight it.

''This was not the intent,'' Coghill said. ''The intent was to up the minimum basic daily rate for indigent care.''

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