Rochester nursing facilities receive $1.6M in state funding to help recover from pandemic

(ABC 6 News) – Funding from a bipartisan bill to help stabilize local nursing facilities across Minnesota facing financial hardship and to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic was delivered on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

In May, Democratic and Republican members of both the Minnesota House and Senate passed the bill, HF 3342, and approved $173 million in new state funding to support local nursing facilities.

Of these initial investments, $1,651,012 has been delivered to the following Rochester nursing facilities:

  • Rochester West Health Services: $208,896
  • Rochester East Health Services: $335,416
  • Benedictine Madonna Towers of Rochester: $237,012
  • Maple Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation: $275,169
  • Samaritan Bethany Home on Eighth: $369,557
  • Rochester Rehab and Living Center: $224,962

The same amount will be delivered to each facility on August 1, 2024.

State Representatives Tina Liebling (DFL), Kim Hicks (DFL) and Andy Smith (DFL) released a join statement saying:

“Well-staffed and accessible nursing facilities play a critical role in health care for Minnesotans. The state reimburses nursing facilities for their costs, but workforce shortages and other post-pandemic conditions have made it difficult for some to keep up. We are pleased to provide additional financial support to help the facilities recover from the pandemic, and to support their hardworking and dedicated staffs.”

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers announced their support of the bill’s passing in May.

Last year, my Senate colleagues and I supported $1 billion to support nursing homes, but unfortunately we could not get agreement from the House and Gov. Walz. This year we tried again but were met with resistance until [May 22} I am happy to report that the Democrat majorities finally agreed to some badly-needed funding to keep nursing homes afloat. We still have more to do, but this is an amazing start,” Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester)

“I’m happy and disappointed at the same time,” Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said. “This has been a crisis, and we failed to address it until the last possible moment.”

“Better late than never,” said House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring).

“This bill is going to go a long way toward taking care of those senior citizens who can’t be taken care of by those who desperately want to do so, their families,” said Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch). “This is some of the best money that we’ve spent all session.”

The bill passed through the Minnesota House, 132-0, and in the Minnesota Senate, 67-0, on May 22.