Strengthen Our Safety Net for California’s Most Vulnerable Seniors ~ CHA Supports Increased Funding for MSSP

Strengthen Our Safety Net for California’s Most Vulnerable Seniors ~ CHA Supports Increased Funding for MSSP

On behalf of the MSSP Site Association (MSA), a statewide coalition representing the 38 community-based providers of the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), California Health Advocates (CHA) submitted the letter below urging our legislators to include a one-time only $14.8 million General Fund appropriation to be spent over the next 3 years for a long overdue and vitally necessary funding increase for the MSSP program.

MSSP is an important safety net for some of our state’s most frail and vulnerable Californians. It is a complex case management program for Medi-Cal seniors, 65 and older, who are certified eligible for skilled nursing placement. These seniors have complex medical and psychosocial needs, requiring specialized medical and social support services. Without MSSP support, clients and their family caregivers are unable to live at home safely. MSSP is a federal waiver program that serves 12,000 frail seniors in their homes rather than institutions, thus saving California millions of dollars.


 

June 6, 2019

 

The Honorable Shirley Weber
Assembly Committee on Budget
State Capitol Room 3123
Sacramento, CA 95814

 

Re: Funding for the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP)

 

Dear Assemblywoman Weber:

 

On behalf of the MSSP Site Association (MSA), a statewide coalition representing the 38 community-based providers of the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), California Health Advocates (CHA) urges you to take action and help create a sustainable safety net for frail, vulnerable Californians by including in the 2020 State budget a $14.8 million one-time only General Fund appropriation to be spent over the next three budget years for a long overdue and vitally necessary funding increase for the MSSP program. The GF investment will be matched with federal funds, resulting in a per-slot rate increase from $4,285 to $5,356.20 per year.

 

The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) is a complex case management program for Medi-Cal seniors, 65 and older, who are certified eligible for skilled nursing placement. These seniors have complex medical and psychosocial needs, requiring specialized medical and social support services. Without MSSP support, clients and their family caregivers are unable to live at home safely. MSSP is a federal waiver program that serves 12,000 frail seniors in their homes rather than institutions, thus saving California millions of dollars.

 

California Health Advocates (CHA), a non-profit organization founded in 1997, is the leading Medicare Advocacy and educational voice for more than 5.6 million Medicare beneficiaries in California. This program supports some of our most vulnerable individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal.

 

In its 40 year history, MSSP has received a 22.5% cut in funding due to state budget deficits. These cuts, along with annual cost increases and no cost of living increase mechanism, places MSSP’s future in peril and subsequently placing frail, vulnerable Californian’s at risk. Please take action to secure this safety net for our seniors.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tatiana Fassieux
Consultant & Training Specialist
California Health Advocates

cc: The Honorable John Moorlach
The Honorable Jim Nielsen
The Honorable Richard Roth
The Honorable Nancy Skinner
The Honorable Kevin McCarty
The Honorable Chad Mayes
The Honorable Jay Obernolte

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.