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Osakis Voices: How does Galeon use donations?

Angie Reinke

Many of you have likely seen advertisement and publications for fundraising efforts at Galeon such as Galeon Appreciation Night with the Minnesota Lynx, pie sales, local business donations, etc. As a result, we have received questions such as: What do we plan to do with the money earned? Can't Galeon afford to make changes on its own? Here are some answers to your questions.

The goal is to earn enough money for improvements to the nursing home. We would like to see brand new flooring put in throughout the hallways and dining area of Community Memorial Home, as this is our oldest building. We would also like to purchase a new whirlpool bathtub for our residents to enjoy. Our bathtub has not been updated since 2001 and we feel this would add quality to the care we provide.

Those of you who have lived in Osakis for some time may have seen the remodel project that was completed over eight years ago when the south hallway was remodeled for our short-term rehab patients. Our goal is to start to make the rest of the nursing home look and feel more updated and comfortable like the rehab rooms. Unfortunately, it is very costly to do all at once and our hope is to make small improvements as funds allow with the ultimate goal of providing a more home like experience for our residents.

I'd also like to take the time to answer the question "Doesn't Galeon have enough money to do this on their own?" Our reimbursement system is the same across all nursing homes throughout the state. We receive money from four sources including Medicaid, Medicare, private pay funds and quality incentive programs. "In 2015 Legislature authorized a new system for nursing facility reimbursement rates, which DHS calls the value-based reimbursement system.

The 2016 rate year, which began on January 1, 2016, was the first year that DHS reimbursed nursing facilities under the new system. Under the value based-system, DHS sets facility reimbursement rates based on the cost of providing care to residents. Although the new system ties a facility's rate to its costs, DHS will not reimburse the facility for unlimited costs; a facility's rate will only reflect its care-related costs up to a limit.

At a minimum, there is a 15-month lag between when a facility accrues a cost and when the cost is reflected in the facility's rate. This is due both to the differences between the rate year and the reporting period, and the time allowed for DHS to calculate facilities' rates (Department of Human Services)." Even though we have seen strides in providing larger reimbursement rates to nursing homes, it still does not allow many facilities to remodel without some assistance from donations and loans.

We cannot thank our community enough for the donations received thus far. We appreciate your efforts immensely. We are approximately one third of the way to our goal. Galeon has upcoming events scheduled and we look forward to sharing these with you. The first event will be with the Minnesota Lynx. There will be an appreciation night for Galeon at a Lynx game in August, please see our website for more information on this exciting event!

If you have questions regarding our fundraiser please call or stop by and see Angie, 320-859-2142.

Osakis Voices is a rotating column written by community leaders who share their thoughts in their field of expertise.

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