Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
A bill that Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, authored to help nring funding equity to a local nursing home passed its first House committee last Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Nursing homes currently receive state aid on a per-patient basis, with rates varying according to zones. This can put facilities in close proximity to a funding border at a disadvantage, as is the case for Hilltop Care Center in Watkins. This Meeker County facility receives less aid than comparable centers in nearby Stearns County, compromising Hilltop's ability to compete and threatening its future.
Urdahl's legislation provides leeway for the Watkins scenario, indicating nursing facilities located within one quarter of a mile from a comparable facility in a higher aid zone may receive the higher rate.
"This disparity has made it difficult for Hilltop to compete and it threatens their ability to stay in operation," Urdahl said. "This is an isolated circumstance in Minnesota and is something we need to correct. In addition to providing top-notch care for its residents, Hilltop is Watkins' top employer with nearly 90 workers on staff. In the future, I will continue to work for legislation aiding oher nursing homes."
Dean Urdahl represents District 18B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The district includes most of Meeker County and a portion of Wright County. This is Urdahl's fifth term in the Legislature after being elected in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010.