Why leaders are warning Newport County health care facilities are ‘on the verge of collapse’

Newport Daily News, May 18, 2022
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Understaffing at Newport County’s health care facilities has left the industry “on the verge of collapse,” Newport County Health Care Collaborative representatives told local legislators at a virtual meeting Monday morning.

“We need immediate relief, or many of our organizations will be forced to reduce our capacity more than we already have,” said Jennifer Fairbank, CEO of Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice and co-founder of Newport County Health Care Collaborative. “This is and will have a devastating impact on Newport County, on our families, schools, employers and so much more for many generations to come.”

Newport County Health Care Collaborative arranged the meeting to request legislative action to bolster health industry workforce recruitment by making Newport County facilities more competitive with the private sector and other states.

The solution the collaborative presented to local legislators for consideration on Monday is two-fold. First, the organizations suggested immediate funding be given to local health and human services organizations to offset what it describes as a “chronic underfunding deficit that has been created over the decades”.

The collaborative’s second request was for the General Assembly to increase the statewide Medicaid rates for medical and social services and establish a rate-setting and review process through Senate Bill 2200 and House Bill 7489.