New Mexico Is Taking Control of Elder Care Funding 1

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Government is not always known to be good at handling money. Bureaucracies have often been cited as causes for delays, mismanagement and even corruption with many of its programs that are supposedly designed to help the less fortunate.

It is often repeated that private businesses are better and more efficient at handling money, and even many non-profits – which have even stricter rules for financial responsibility in order to cover payroll and operating costs – have reputations of being better with money they have than many government bureaucracies.

So it should come as a surprise to have an inefficient bureaucracy like a state agency that oversees elderly care facilities ending a contract with one of these non-profit groups, claiming it’s because of “mishandling” state and federal funds.

Sounds a little rich, doesn’t it?

The story is true in New Mexico, where the state’s Department of Aging and Long Term Services announce recently that because of alleged abuse of funds, it was ending its contract with the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging. There are no more details about the termination, but the state agency has received from blowback and has taken to the media to defend its action.

The NMAAA provides home-delivered meals and some daycare services to thousands of New Mexico residents, and the contract termination raised the ire of Democrat lawmakers in both state houses. (Yes, no Republicans are speaking up.)

The head of the state agency, Kyly Knowles, said the contract termination was solely to protect federal funds, which are precious to the state. She said the goal was to spend the money wisely, but she would not elaborate on the ways in which the NMAAA was misusing the funds to justify the termination.

But here is something to think about: Money is rarely the cause or the reason for anything negative – it is often a symptom of something else. While the state agency

Abusing money may be a look into the business model in an industry that has been ravaged in the last few years with nursing-home abuse cases. When a state bureaucratic agency claims that a non-profit is misusing or abusing funds, there should be a red flag up when it comes to dealing with agencies like these.

Families have important and difficult decisions when it comes to elderly relatives or friends, and it’s important in the wake of recent scandals, to make sure to do a proper vetting of nursing homes and other adult-care facilities to choose the best one for your relative. It is not about a facility that is closest to the relative; it’s about the one that provides the best compassionate care.