Pinoy care home owners rally vs state bed limit

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Jun 13 2014 09:17 AM | Updated as of Jun 14 2014 06:47 PM

SACRAMENTO, California – Dozens of Filipino care home owners and caregivers gathered at the State Capitol in Sacramento to commemorate Philippine Independence Day by fighting for their rights to make enough money as business owners.

They are members of the United Filipino Care Providers and Caregivers or UFIL.

UFIL Chairman Antonio Ranit said that since regional centers are limiting care facilities of the developmentally disabled to four beds instead of the traditional six, care home owners and providers are losing money.

Current state laws have imposed a smaller number of beds after regional centers said it would provide more intimate services and better care.

Those who care for elderly patients are still allowed six beds per private facility.

But Ranit said their income has suffered since.

“We make profit on the sixth bed with that particular one bed,” said Ranit. “Unfortunately, that’s now being eliminated. So if you eliminate the two beds you eliminate the profit. You eliminate the break even. Now you’re in the red.”

UFIL is calling on the state to raise the reimbursements they could get from the government per patient so they could survive under the four bed rule.

Meantime, even those serving the elderly clients are going through challenges current state law requires one caregiver present to care for three patients.

But now another bill is being proposed to require an administrator to be on the premises at all times.

“We are serving the elderly people it’s really important that residential facilities for six beds must continue in this industry because we cannot charge high monthly rates to the residents,” said Janet Baena. “We charge them like $1,600 to $1,800 a month, $2,200 a month, to $3,500 a month and all the facilities aren’t always full. So you have to take four residents and Congress is trying to pass a bill that even if our caregivers are staying overnight they need to get paid. It is just highly impossible to do that.”

They say unless the state eases up on their regulations they may end up closing their facilities because of the financial impact and many kababayans who work as caregivers will end up losing their jobs.

More importantly, they say patients who need help will no longer get the care they need and lawmakers should not allow that to happen.