SACRAMENTO—Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation authored by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, to ensure that the pending elimination of Adult Day Health Care will not cause the transfer of the most medically fragile adults to high cost institutional or nursing home care.
Lydia Missaelides, executive director of the California Association for Adult Day Services, said the 37,000 eldery and disabled patients who rely on Adult Day Health Care to keep them home with their families and out of high-cost institutionalized care are unconsolable, visibly shaken and in tears after hearing of the Governor’s veto today of AB 96.
“The governor and I work extremely well together but it seems we don’t see eye to eye this time,” said Blumenfield. “I’m disappointed by his veto and worry that it risks a lose-lose scenario for California. Absent quick resolution, it sets the stage for spending more on health care while providing less of it to our people.”
“It’s a sad day for the poor, medically fragile and most vulnerable elderly among us,” added the President of the Adult Day Health Care Association Berdj Karapetian.
ADHC is a low-cost, licensed, community-based day care program providing health, therapeutic, and social services to those at risk of being placed in nursing home care. It is scheduled for elimination on December 1, 2011 as a Medi-Cal benefit. Currently, more than 2,000 medically frail California Armenians are able to continue living in their homes by attending Adult Day Health Care Centers
The vetoed Assembly Bill (AB) 96 would have created the Keeping Adults Free from Institutions (KAFI) program to care for the most medically fragile adults currently served by ADHC. Federal approval and funding were required to implement KAFI, which was designed to operate through licensed adult day health centers for half the cost of ADHC. $85 million in funding for KAFI was included in the budget passed by the Legislature last month.
“We have a serious problem in front of us and we must keep working together to solve it,” added Blumenfield. “Thousands of adult day patients and their families don’t know what their future holds. Such tremendous uncertainty is a true nightmare.”
More than 300 adult day centers exist across the state, serving over 37,000 Californians. It costs roughly $1,050 per month per person enrolled in an ADHC, compared with $5,193 per month per person enrolled in nursing home care. Put another way, if approximately 20 percent of adult day patients transition to nursing home care any projected budget gain owed to eliminating ADHC is gone.