Aging in place requires the entire healthcare continuum
State legislatures across the nation are beginning their sessions, including the Kansas General Assembly, which started January 9th. Since then we can be certain they have been discussing aging healthcare systems. With an increasingly aging population, we must adequately fund care across the entire continuum, including both home and community-based care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation center care. To be clear, the Medicaid rates for both community and nursing home care were increased by three percent in the Kansas fiscal year 2019 budget and even with that increase, the rate to nursing homes is underfunded by $31.3 million.
One mistake is to assume that Kansans living in nursing homes would be able to receive the care they need less expensively at home. The average Kansan skilled nursing home resident is in her eighties with multiple chronic conditions and some form of dementia. Most, if not all, would otherwise be cared for in hospitals, farther removed from family and at much higher costs.
To help the Newton community stay healthy and age in place, it will take the entire healthcare continuum. That means physicians, nurse practitioners, hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, home and community-based services, as well as individuals and families. As our nation ages and healthcare dollars are stretched, quality lower-cost settings will be crucial to get Medicare beneficiaries home stronger and keep Medicaid recipients healthier.
The good news at Asbury Park is that because of decades of smart policy decisions, educated direct care staff, and caring leadership; we have outstanding care capacity in skilled nursing centers and notable quality care. Since 2017, the Asbury Park Five-Star quality rating average was 4.1 stars—higher than ever before and well above the national average. Including registered and licensed nurses and nursing aides, Asbury Park provide an average of 3.8 nursing service hours per patient per day, significantly exceeding state regulatory requirements of 2.0. Our greenhouse homes average 5.2 nursing service hours per patient per day. Which directly correlates to excellent patient outcomes and staff that are happy, both things you want for your loved ones and their caregivers. I hope that when I reach the age of my meemaw and pop pop I will be able to reside at home into my eights, but when I do need more services I hope there are excellent continuum of care environments like Asbury Park.