Spectrum Health is closing its group homes for traffic accident survivors due to payment cuts imposed by Michigan’s new no-fault law. The fee cuts, which began on July 1 of this year, have allowed insurance companies to cut payments to long-term health care providers by more than the cost of care.
Over the next few weeks, the thirty group home residents with traumatic brain injuries will be moved to a nursing home run by Spectrum.
Spectrum Health Neuro Rehab has offered road accident survivors with brain injuries a place to live like at home, with their own rooms and showers, high staff numbers, ongoing rehabilitation and the opportunity to pursue their personal interests, including outings to baseball games and movies.
Therapy assistant Jean Kaminski says it’s sad – they won’t have that quality of life in the nursing home, but at least they have a place to go. Other group home residents across the state won’t, because unlike Spectrum Health, their providers don’t have access to nursing homes, and because most nursing homes aren’t. able to safely care for catastrophic people.
“A lot of these people won’t survive a year with this kind of thing happening to them,” says Kaminski.
Kaminski says Spectrum Health offered her the opportunity to get a certified nursing assistant license so she could get a job at the nursing home, but she doesn’t have the heart to see her former patients lose so much. and having to live in an institution. She plans to find a job elsewhere, perhaps not in the medical field at all.
Meanwhile, the law is forcing the collapse of the entire long-term care industry. At least 46 providers have already closed their doors or fired their road accident patients due to reductions in the new law, and most other group homes, residential rehabilitation centers and care agencies are expected at home are also forced to close.
Experts agree with Kaminski that some survivors will die as a result of the withdrawal of care.
They also agree that the no-fault law increases the profits of insurance companies at the expense of patient care.
Kaminski says that high-quality care for road traffic accident patients with serious injuries is expensive, “and what better way to eliminate that than to just stop providing care.”
Numerous bills have been introduced in the State House and Senate to correct what many lawmakers see as unintended consequences of the new law. But the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate insurance committees will not give any hearings to any of the bills.