LETTER: Facts lacking in previous letterOnce again Mr. Hermsen has demonstrated his lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of the written word. Mr. Hermsen refutes that the New Richmond home has historically housed a higher percentage of needy residents than do other non-profit or private home. Of course it has, having been opened in 1897 the St. Croix County Health Center has continually served the residents of St. Croix County.
To the Editor:
Once again Mr. Hermsen has demonstrated his lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of the written word. Mr. Hermsen refutes that the New Richmond home has historically housed a higher percentage of needy residents than do other non-profit or private home. Of course it has, having been opened in 1897 the St. Croix County Health Center has continually served the residents of St. Croix County.
Mr. Hermsen states that all nursing homes in the State of Wisconsin must accept Medicaid patients to maintain their license. Sir, a nursing home must be certified to accept Medicaid and/or Medicare and some are State Licensed Only (the facility does not accept either Medicaid or Medicare). Chapter 50 of Wisconsin Statutes and the Social Security Act should be required reading for anyone wishing to speak on the aforementioned subjects.
With regard to Mr. Hermsen’s statement, “Hmmm, if the New Richmond home is the five-star facility it claims to be, then why would residents only come there after having been turned away elsewhere? Could it be that many shopping residents saw through the hype when making visits to a select a home?”
Mr. Hermsen, your statement is truly one of ignorance. The five-star rating is achieved by receiving superior ratings in more than 150 regulatory areas which must be maintained at all times. The Bureau of Nursing Home Resident Care (BNHRC) is responsible for conducting unannounced health care surveys of nursing homes. The five-star rating system was implemented as a result of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA ‘87), a nursing home reform law, and more recent quality improvement campaigns such as the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes, a coalition of consumers, health care providers and nursing home professionals.
Residents may have been turned away from a facility closer to their home due to availability of beds, cost and level of care required or many other reasons. The same is true for persons who may not have been accepted at the St. Croix Health Center. One must also consider that if a female is applying and the only beds are in male rooms, although there would be beds there would be no availability.
Mr. Hermsen asked for an explanation of the stomach flu: Noroviruses (genus Norovirus, family Caliciviridae) are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, non-enveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is recognized as the leading cause of food borne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Outbreaks can happen to people of all ages and in a variety of settings. (CDC -Center for Disease Control)
The protocol of the St. Croix Health Center regarding admissions during a norovirus outbreak can be found in RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF VIRAL GASTROENTERITIS OUTBREAKS IN WISCONSIN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/rl_dsl/Training/dphLTCrecommendations.pdf
The St. Croix Health Center does not belong to New Richmond it belongs to the people of St. Croix County. The site selection for the home was established by the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors in March of 1896.
With regard to the Inter-Governmental Transfer (IGT), the Medicaid program is jointly funded by the federal government and states. The federal government pays states for a specified percentage of program expenditures, called the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). FMAP varies by state based on criteria such as per capita income. The FMAP is published annually in the Federal Register.
Mr. Hermsen, knowledge and facts are critical in today’s society and as a county supervisor you are entrusted to present the facts in a knowledgeable manner. Misinformation and disinformation will not suffice, the readers of this newspaper are highly intelligent.
Scottie Ellen Ard