Connecticut Governor-elect Ned Lamont is discussing ways the state may be able to cut approximately $1 billion from its annual budget. His main goal, as he states, is to do so without negatively impacting grants and services the majority of residents care deeply about. One component that Governor-elect Lamont and other legislators are focusing on may impact home care companies directly.
That’s because the concern some in the legislature have involves the increasing cost of nursing home care. The average cost of nursing home care throughout the state may be around $85,000 annually. If residents who need long-term care are able to be transitioned from nursing homes to a more cost-effective home care plan, it could potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars for the state.
The CT Mirror noted in the news blog, Can efficiency save state government $1 billion per year?, written by Keith M. Phaneuf:
“A think-tank sponsored by a business coalition, the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century, delivered a series of studies in 2010 and 2011 focused on achieving greater cost efficiency in state government.
It estimated the state could save more than $600 million annually by accelerating the ongoing shift of the elderly from nursing home care into home- and community-based health care.
In another report, the institute urged the state to abandon its dual, public-private system of delivering social services, arguing a shift toward complete privatization also would yield big savings.
But there are problems with these recommendations. For one, both of these shifts are projected to take anywhere from five to 10 years to achieve major savings.”
Another key component to this goal of cutting $1 billion from the annual budget could involve privatizing certain social services. However, that would depend significantly on negotiations with state labor unions. A key factor in reducing certain costs would swing directly on the ability to cut back staffing levels, which could be a problem for Governor-elect Lamont as unions represent a bulk of these state employees.
State employees have agreed to certain concessions over the past decade through their respective unions, including in 2009, 2011, and 2017.
Representatives for these workers state that any further concessions would be unfair, which immediately muddies the waters of proposed budget cuts.
If Connecticut is able to begin transitioning elderly and disabled clients away from more costly nursing home care and moving them into home care support services, that could go a long way toward slashing part of the annual budget.