New Hampshire Council Shifts Funds From Nursing Homes To In-Home
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 20, 2004
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE--As the populations of nursing homes decline and more people are choosing to live in their own homes, New Hampshire's Executive Council has decided to shift money from the nursing home budget to cover in-home care.
The Union Leader reported that the state had 4,900 residents at county-run facilities last year, but the number has dropped by about 40 so far this year. At the same time, 1,980 people are receiving nursing care in their own homes, which is nearly 50 more than the state had budgeted to serve.
On Thursday, the five-member Council, which has authority and responsibility -- together with the Governor -- over administration of state affairs, agreed to transfer $800,000 from the account for county nursing home residents. Councilors said they support the trend toward community-based services, but are worried that transferring unspent money might affect taxpayers and county governments responsible for nursing home costs.
James P. Fredyma, controller of finance for the state Department of Health and Human Services, told the paper that the cost of nursing home services for one person is nearly four times that of in-home care. The money being transferred was left over from the $181 million budgeted this year for nursing homes and would not affect county government.
"We've got to move on this," said Executive Councilor Raymond Burton.
Two Councilors voted against the measure.
The shift in New Hampshire's nursing home population follows an international trend toward in-home services for seniors and people with disabilities.