Monday, July 3, 2017

Edward Redshaw 59 mins · E-Mail to Keith Gerein of the Edmonton Journal and forwarded to the Premier, Health Minister and others. See today's (July 3, 2017) Edmonton Journal for article. Dear Keith: Thanks so much for your article "Wait time for continuing care grows:report". This sheds some light on what is a devastating situation for many of our vulnerable citizens. Just a few comments: 1) As usual the Health Minister "could not be reached for comment but the health ministry provided an emailed statement". This is the usual communication route for the Health Minister. She is totally out of her depth in her position as Health Minister and would be really embarrassed to personally have to respond to questions on this topic. 2) Continuing Care. There are 3 types of living support under Alberta's continuing care system: Home living Supportive living Facility living The Health Minister promised to open 2000 Long-Term Care Beds and Dementia units (3. Facility living) . This was all political propaganda and is not going to happen. This would be very expensive and the bulk of Alberta Health Services funding is allocated to Acute Care not Continuing Care. The Health Minister is playing the Smoke and Mirrors game with her use of the terminology. She is deliberately avoiding the use of the term Long-Term Care and instead is using the term Continuing Care. By doing this she can increase 1. Home living and 2. Supportive living without any increase of 3. Facility living and claim to have met the set target. She can get away with this because the turn over rate in 3. Facility living is, according to a CEO I spoke with, about 1 and a 1/2 years which means there will be ongoing room for those in desperate need of what is now essentially Palliative Care. Dementia people are mixed in with these residents in several facilities. This is a sad situation as she will be pushing 1. Home living which is the least costly option for the government. Granted, staying in ones home for as long as possible may sound desirable to many people. But at some point when a degree of independence is lost and family are too busy for you there will be many lonely, depressed seniors living in deteriorating homes. Sad. Keep up the good work, but, the next time you pursue this topic keep in mind the confused use of terminology being practiced to conceal the real facts or as Donald Trump would put it "fake news". Regards. Edward (Redshaw).

E-Mail to Keith Gerein of the Edmonton Journal and forwarded to the Premier, Health Minister and others. See today's (July 3, 2017) Edmonton Journal for article.
Dear Keith:
Thanks so much for your article "Wait time for continuing care grows:report". This sheds some light on what is a devastating situation for many of our vulnerable citizens.
Just a few comments:
1) As usual the Health Minister "could not be reached for comment but the health ministry provided an emailed statement". This is the usual communication route for the Health Minister. She is totally out of her depth in her position as Health Minister and would be really embarrassed to personally have to respond to questions on this topic.
2) Continuing Care. There are 3 types of living support under Alberta's continuing care system:
Home living
Supportive living
Facility living
The Health Minister promised to open 2000 Long-Term Care Beds and Dementia units (3. Facility living) . This was all political propaganda and is not going to happen. This would be very expensive and the bulk of Alberta Health Services funding is allocated to Acute Care not Continuing Care.
The Health Minister is playing the Smoke and Mirrors game with her use of the terminology.
She is deliberately avoiding the use of the term Long-Term Care and instead is using the term Continuing Care. By doing this she can increase 1. Home living and 2. Supportive living without any increase of 3. Facility living and claim to have met the set target.
She can get away with this because the turn over rate in 3. Facility living is, according to a CEO I spoke with, about 1 and a 1/2 years which means there will be ongoing room for those in desperate need of what is now essentially Palliative Care. Dementia people are mixed in with these residents in several facilities.
This is a sad situation as she will be pushing 1. Home living which is the least costly option for the government. Granted, staying in ones home for as long as possible may sound desirable to many people. But at some point when a degree of independence is lost and family are too busy for you there will be many lonely, depressed seniors living in deteriorating homes. Sad.
Keep up the good work, but, the next time you pursue this topic keep in mind the confused use of terminology being practiced to conceal the real facts or as Donald Trump would put it "fake news".
Regards. Edward (Redshaw).

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/alberta-patients-waiting-longer-for-placement-in-continuing-care-report


Alberta patients waiting longer for placement in continuing care: report

Published on: July 2, 2017 | Last Updated: July 2, 2017 9:25 PM MDT
Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman on Dec. 13, 2016.
Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman on Dec. 13, 2016. LARRY WONG / POSTMEDIA
Plans to provide faster access to long-term care and supportive living flopped last year, according to new provincial statistics that show many patients actually found themselves waiting longer for a bed.
Numbers included in the latest Alberta Health annual report show the goal of providing a continuing care bed within 30 days of assessment was achieved for 56 per cent of patients last year — the worst rate since the province began tracking the standard in 2011.
The 30-day benchmark was achieved 60 per cent of the time during the previous two years.
The province had hoped to hit a target of 62 per cent this past year.
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman could not be reached for comment, but the health ministry provided an emailed statement that said a number of factors contributed to the disappointing result.
Among those reasons were delays in opening new continuing care spaces, and some “unanticipated” issues that arose at a few specific facilities. The statement did not provide any details.
“These facility challenges have since been resolved, and all new spaces originally planned for 2016-17 are expected to open in this fiscal year,” the statement said.
Upon entering office in 2015, the NDP government promised to address the crunch by opening 2,000 long-term care and dementia units. As an initial step, approval was given to 25 construction projects under the Alberta Supportive Living Initiative — down from 31 projects approved by the previous government — though just a handful of these facilities have since opened.
The province’s latest budget features $322 million over four years to expand continuing care, the ministry said.
Lack of room in continuing care has a domino effect on the whole health system, as patients often have to wait in overtaxed hospitals before they get placed.
Besides building more care centres, the ministry said it is also addressing the problem by expanding home care. In theory, this will keep patients independent for a longer period of time and prevent them from needing a continuing care bed.
For this year, the province has set a target of getting 65 per cent of patients into continuing care within the 30-day benchmark.
The annual report noted overall health spending last year was $252 million higher than budgeted, largely due to extra costs for paying doctors. A deal signed with the Alberta Medical Association last year to slow physician costs prevented spending from getting further out of control, the ministry said.
As for Alberta Health Services, the agency posted a $67-million surplus last year, representing less than one per cent of its $14.3-billion budget.
However, the health authority saw its administration costs jump to $478 million, an increase of 10 per cent.  
Alberta Health Services issued a statement saying the increase was mainly due to higher insurance costs resulting from infrastructure damage.
“Several facilities experienced flooding or water damage in the past year that contributed to a higher loss ratio.”
Administration costs represented about 3.3 per cent of total AHS spending, still well below the average for other health-care organizations in the country, the health authority said.
kgerein@postmedia.com
Other highlights included in the Alberta Health annual report included:
• AHS CEO Verna Yiu earned $565,000 in base salary last year, along with $16,000 in cash benefits and $163,000 in non-cash benefits. AHS did not provide details to explain why the non-cash benefits are at that level.
• Yiu’s salary is higher than her predecessor Vickie Kaminski, who earned $540,000 annually.
• Two other AHS executives — northern Alberta medical director David Mador and northern Alberta chief health operations officer Deb Gordon — also earned substantial non-cash benefits of $104,000 each.
• According to the government’s latest sunshine list, Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie earned $544,000 in compensation in the 2016 calendar year, plus $31,000 in other benefits.
• The AHS board collectively earned $310,000 in honoraria in the 2016-17 year, including $71,000 for chairwoman Linda Hughes
• Noela Inions, the chief ethics and compliance officer, was the only top AHS executive to receive severance last year. Inions received $219,000 in severance after leaving her job in April.

• Deputy health minister Carl Amrhein earned $327,000 in base salary last year, along with about $8,000 in cash benefits and $67,000 in non-cash benefits, resulting in total compensation just over $400,000.
Raminder Gill · 
Get rid of private for profit companies. Use that money to open new beds and take control of health care system. Private companies are pocketing taxpayers money. Not fair to our seniors.
LikeReply310 hrs
Gordon Moshuk · 
Totally agree
LikeReply2 hrs
Alaina Letawsky · 
SMH. this government acting like this is a new thing. Its been the same story for 10 plus years. Ask any healthcare worker. Stop making excuses why pts couldnt get placed. This isnt even news anymore.
UnlikeReply515 hrs
Wayne Jason · 
Too few beds. Patients living longer. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Even Hoffman can figure it out. I wish they'd just give an honest answer for once.
UnlikeReply515 hrs
Louis Tiedemann
We need more women shelters too. The existing ones are packed, and the demand is sky-rocketing.
LikeReply4 hrs
Wendy Rudiger · 
I just shake my head. The ignorance of people regarding this issue. I've worked in senior care for almost 40 years. 30 in AB. The PC'S ignored this problem for decades and now everyone whines that the NDP hasn't got it fixed in 2 years. What a bunch of whiney morons! Give them at least 10 and it will get done.
LikeReply25 hrs
Heather Landsiedel · 
The NDP have said they are going to save the day and are putting us deep in debt to fix everything they deem needs fixing so yes they will be on the receiving end of the blame!
UnlikeReply34 hrs
Jerry Steele
Lots of money for everything else Wendy. Plus, since this began to be tracked back in 2011, this is the WORST Alberta has ever done. The NDP certainly isn't "fixing" it.
UnlikeReply22 hrsEdited
Ross Peck · 
"the PC's ignored this problem for..." - the mating call of the misguided NDP ballot. PC's demanded accountability for the money, but now a government that writes blank cheques. And the unions still want more.

Every single one of these facilities was given monies for maintenance and insurance. Tell me why the repairs and recoveries are the past PC's fault?
LikeReply1 hr
Julie Ali · 
Jerry Steele I agree the NDP folks aren't fixing it. They are diverting attention from the problem of lack of long term care beds to the home care solution but I doubt that dementia patients at the end stage of the disease can be taken care of at home. Also why are we providing an inefficient expensive solution in terms of home care when public long term care beds will solve the problem?

This problem indeed was started by the PCs who decided that the private sector would solve the problem of government failures in policy but certainly the NDP folks aren't fixing these problems. They are focused on re-election and have already began campaigning. Only problem is where are your supporters now? Swing voters like me won't vote NDP based on the poor performance in the continuing care sector and the child welfare system.
LikeReply49 mins
Julie Ali · 
Ross Peck The PCs wasted a ton of cash for no performance that I can determine in the continuing care sector. We pay for 50% of the new infrastructure in some cases with ASLI grants. Of the most recent grant we have only 400 spaces allocated for long term care by the PCs:

https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm...
Of the more than 2,600 new spaces, almost 400 will be allocated for long-term care. Also included are the 311 restorative care spaces for Edmonton and Calgary, announced March 11.
****
This response by the PCs ignored the reality of the major numbers of Alzheimer's patients that will be in the system soon. I doubt that supportive living 4-Dementia is a productive response for the upcoming surge in cases. These patients should -in my opinion be in long term care but with the PCs and the NDP folks we have seen a dumbing down of the system so that long term care patients are downgraded to supportive living sites. It's troubling but since most Albertans aren't familiar with the problems or don't care we will have a continuation of the poor policy decisions to support the saving of the almighty buck as well as failures in service provision to our most vulnerable citizens.
LikeReply45 mins
Devin Artzen · 
Can blame the PCs for this. How about spending more of our money funding the massive buerocracy instead of cutting unnecessary middle management role and re-evaluating the way Albertans are given healthcare. #speNDPfail
LikeReply1 hr
Julie Ali · 
You may not blame the PCs but they deconstructed the adequate long term care system and are directly responsible for this mess. Mind you the NDP continue this problem with the poor decision to increase bureaucracy with board for AHS that seems to be present so that blame can be placed on them rather than on the GOA. I don't actually think this board is anything other than window dressing which is costing us big bucks. The board and executive salaries increase our costs for what?

I guess the increased salaries and compensation indicate to us that the NDP are more fiscally irresponsible than the PCs. I am curious what the Wildrose Party will do when we elect them in the next election. Will they continue the culture of entitlement in the GOA and ABCs (agencies, boards and commisions)? Or will they decrease our liabilities so that money can be redirected to families?
LikeReply41 mins
Gregory Paul Gavin · 
Cut back on privatized procedures. That will put more doctors in the system
LikeReply5 hrs
Shawn Ginn
The Huffster will comment as soon as she is back from her 3 months off.
LikeReply53 mins
Julie Ali · 
I doubt that Ms. Hoffman will comment unless there is money to be given out. Problem issues are given to the Payne and she gets to tell us the bad news.
LikeReply41 mins
Jerry Steele
They're too focused on indoctrinating the youth to care for the aged. Money for everything else apparently.
LikeReply5 hrs
Jeremy Johnston · 
Are you equally as outraged over decades of Conservative neglect on this file?
LikeReply3 hrs
Jerry Steele
Yes. Are you equally outraged Jeremy?
UnlikeReply13 hrs
Jerry Steele
And let's not forget, that since the government began tracking getting a bed within 30 days of assessment back in 2011, this is the WORST Alberta has done. So I guess I'm not equally outraged when the NDP actually does worse than the PCs were doing.
LikeReply2 hrs
Julie Ali · 
Jerry Steele I am annoyed by the failures of the PCs but they are gone now. The NDP know about the problems since they were yapping about them for 44 years and telling us that they would solve these problems. So if they had the solutions when they were in the opposition -why are they not providing these solutions now? Could it be that the NDP --like the PCs want the private sector to solve the problems in the continuing care system? Could it be that PC contractual arrangements handicap the NDP from quick action? Could it be that government itself is controlled by corporations? Could it be that our political hires can't do what they promise us because seniors and the handicapped aren't significant as voting blocs? Or could it be that we just don't get action because continuing care for all political parties represents a black hole that they don't want to go near?
LikeReply38 mins

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