More good news keeps coming out of the historic senior care reform enacted by the Minnesota State Legislature in 2015. One senior care facility using the reform to make meaningful changes that benefit seniors, families and caregivers is Good Shepherd Community in Sauk Rapids.
We are grateful to Bruce Glanzer, President/CEO of Good Shepherd Community, for taking the time share what they have already done as a result of the reform.
“I would like to commend the Legislature and the Governor for passing and signing into law the new long-term care reform package,” says Glanzer. “As I’ve been out in public, many people have asked me how the reform package has affected our organization. I am pleased to report some of these positive steps Good Shepherd Community has already taken on behalf of our residents, tenants and professional caregiving workforce, thanks to long-term care reform.”
Further Meeting the Needs of Residents and Tenants
“We have increased our nursing staff for the Good Shepherd Community Households by adding additional RN coverage to better meet the clinical needs of our residents and tenants,” says Glanzer. “Our plans also include using some of the revenue generated by long-term care reform to build four patio homes on our campus. “
Providing Wage Increases
“As the legislature was in session and I could see the momentum that was building to see this law passed, I gave my nursing staff unbudgeted increases with the hope that the reform bill would be approved,” says Glanzer. “The increases helped stabilize our present workforce from leaving for other positions. It also assisted in recruiting new caregiver staff to our organization. Now that the law passed, I will be able recoup those funds in the cost report process.”
Glanzer adds, “Once the bill passed and was signed into law, we knew what our new revenue base would be. So, we began to put together our financial plan. Effective January 10, 2016, all staff in our organization received an increase that averaged 8-10 percent across our campuses. It is our hope and prayer that this will further stabilize our present workforce and significantly impact our recruitment efforts. We have seen about a 40 percent drop in turnover from 2014 to the end of 2015. With this new wage increase, our goal is to see that drop again as much.”
Improving Health Insurance Benefits
“We completely revised our health Insurance plan for our employees,” says Glanzer. “We lowered deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses and copays while, at the same time, increased our portion of the premium for health insurance coverage.”
Expanding Educational Opportunities for Caregiver Professionals
“We have greatly increased the educational opportunities for our employees as part of the new reform package providing funding for a loan forgiveness plan and the scholarship funds available,” said Glanzer. “We have seen an increase in the number of individuals going back to get their RN degree as a result of the new funding.”