Pleasant View Communities has long prided itself on offering the senior community and its families the promise of a meaningful, supported, and fulfilling life as they enter their later years. Pleasant View is always thinking ahead and continually looks for ways to expand its programs and engage its residents.
Despite this desire to grow, Pleasant View is facing an unprecedented financial situation that is affecting its capacity to invest in organizational development. “We’re at a challenging crossroads as an industry,” said Pleasant View President and CEO, Jonathan Hollinger.
The “crossroads” Jonathan is referring to marks the difficult decisions senior living facilities like Pleasant View are being forced to make in Pennsylvania because of the persistent underfunding of medical assistance for senior care. Such decisions include the shutting down of entire nursing wings and increased care costs for private pay residents, causing them to run through their assets faster than expected.
The Medicaid Crisis
To give you a better idea, 15 years ago, Medicaid was able to cover $178 per day of care costs. Today, in 2022, only $189 per day is covered. That’s a mere 6% increase in more than a decade and covers less than half of the daily costs (which hover around $500/day). On top of that, it has become impossible for Pleasant View to match the pay scales of larger hospital systems or even non-healthcare jobs, making it difficult for senior facilities to retain nursing and general staff.
How did this happen? Jonathan points to a significant change in the cost-reimbursement model. Whereas rates of reimbursement for senior care used to be based on what is defined as “allowable costs,” or the amount of money healthcare plans determine is appropriate for care, the reimbursement model now includes a budget adjustment factor. This strictly limits how much reimbursement rates can increase over time and is the primary reason behind the Medicaid crisis senior care providers are facing.
To put it simply, this means that Pleasant View has had to cover over $30 million in underfunded care costs over the last 10 years. This figure will only increase, as daily costs are expected to climb another percent in the near future. Countless seniors rely on medical assistance even though Medicaid itself is placing the greatest burden on senior care organizations.
“It has changed so dramatically from decades ago – you used to be able to sell a house and have enough in equity and savings to live out the rest of your life,” Jonathan said. “Cost of care has increased faster than portfolios have. Fixed incomes at modest growth levels with rising inflation are especially an issue.”
That’s the catch-22 of it all. To help cover costs for Medicaid patients, rates for private pay residents have increased. Due to these increased costs, private pay residents run through their assets faster than expected and are forced to go on Medicaid, starting the cycle all over again.
Increased Need for Benevolent Care
Clearly, this is unsustainable.
Pleasant View is a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC. This means that Pleasant View can provide care for residents across a continuum, from independent living all the way to more involved nursing care. Residents first “buy into” (pay an entrance fee to) the CCRC, then pay a monthly fee. Many CCRCs, including Pleasant View, provide benevolent care, which essentially is the discounting of living costs and fees for residents who have exhausted their assets.
At any given moment, 30% to 50% of skilled residents at Pleasant View receive benevolent care to cover the cost of services.
Benevolent care covers much of the day-to-day operational and staffing costs that come with being a resident at Pleasant View. While benevolent care has always been a part of our model, more and more residents need it due to the persistent Medicaid crisis.
Donate to Our Current Benevolent Care Needs
If there’s one area of necessity right now at Pleasant View, it’s our Current Benevolent Care Needs. When people in the community donate to this program, it directly offsets benevolent care costs for residents.
A key value of Pleasant View is dignity—”respecting and honoring the value of each person’s individuality, needs, and interests”—and benevolent care is key to upholding this tenet. No resident should have to feel vulnerable or compromised due to depleted finances. Donations to Current Benevolent Care Needs show a commitment to these values and are essential to Pleasant View upholding its respected legacy.
You can donate to Benevolent Care Needs by visiting this page and checking the “Benevolent Care” box. Every gift makes a difference.