NEI3A Letter to Legislators
posted 1/30/2018 in
Dear Iowa Legislators:
Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging has been informed by the Iowa Department on Aging (IDA) that its State funding would be reduced by $34,027 based on the Governor’s recommendation of de-appropriating $220,024 from the Department. If the same pass-through percentage applies to the Senate Committee’s proposed de-appropriation to the IDA of $330,036, Northeast Iowa Area would see a total reduction of funds in the amount of $56,106 over the next five months. After the mid-year cuts and loss Medicaid Elderly Waiver Case Management last year, NEI3A implemented the following austerity measures:
- Laying off staff
- Freezing staff pay
- Freezing any hiring – new or replacing an existing position
- Reducing mileage rates for staff and volunteers
- Renegotiating rents
- Closing field offices
- Renegotiating provider rates
- Canceling janitorial contracts
- Performing services over the phone rather than face to face
- Implementing wait lists for services
The reduction will result in over 7000 fewer home delivered meals sent to vulnerable homebound seniors. Due to this, NEI3A has place a hard freeze on any new program participants requesting meals on wheels until at least the beginning of July 2018.
Any carry over in the reductions or additional cuts to FY19 funding will result in continued and/or additional loss of these services to Iowa seniors. These services and resources are vital to protecting the Medicaid at-risk elderly population from moving to an institutional setting and on State Medicaid. Investing in AAA services saves taxpayer dollars by reducing premature and costly Medicare and Medicaid expenditures resulting from unnecessary nursing home placement or hospitalizations due to poor nutrition and chronic health conditions.
Any additional reductions will prompt NEI3A to discuss more drastic measures such as closing meal sites with low attendance – adversely affecting rural consumers, ceasing funding of some home and community based services, and reducing the number of serving days.
If this proposed de-appropriation passes, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging will have absorbed a 15% decrease in State funding from FY16 to FY18.
On behalf of NEI3A staff, volunteers, and the thousands of older persons and the caregivers served by NEI3A, I urge you to reconsider the funding proposal to the Iowa Department on Aging in SF2117 and stand up to protect vulnerable Senior Iowans.