Sununu restarts $300-a-week stipends for some long-term care workers

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The NH National Guard and members of the NH Medical Task Force were on site at the Hillsborough County Nursing Home in Goffstown. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

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CONCORD, NH – On Monday Gov. Chris Sununu reactivated New Hampshire’s Long-Term Care Stabilization Program, which will offer stipends to frontline health-care workers at Medicaid facilities until Dec. 31.

It will be the same as the program that ended in July – a $300 per week stipend for full-time workers and a $150 stipend per week for part-time workers.

Reactivating the stipends was on the list of 15 recommendations made by the Committee to Study the Safety of Residents and Employees in Long-Term Care Facilities, which reported to Sununu earlier this month.

Their list included five items addressing staffing issues, another four grouped under wages, and another six recommendations the committee decided to group under operational changes.

The focus on long-term care facilities was prompted because about 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire have been associated with long-term care facilities.

(See’s special report on the crisis in Nursing homes here)

To date, the state has expended $67.6 million in stipends to workers at Medicaid facilities through the earlier stabilization program, according to a news release issued by Sununu.

The state also expended $30 million to long-term care facilities through the State’s Health Care System Relief Fund.

“The State of New Hampshire remains committed to ensuring that long-term care facilities have the resources needed to confront the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sununu said.

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases here in New Hampshire, Medicaid providers that provide long-term services in facility-based settings as well as in the home and community are experiencing increased challenges in retaining their frontline workforce, which has threatened critical staffing levels needed to provide continuity of long term supports and services to individuals in those programs, the release said.

When talking with long-term care facilities, workforce retention remains a top concern. It ends Dec.31 to conform with CAREs Act stipulations that all dollars must be spent before 2021.

The details of the program can be found in Sununu’s Emergency Orders 31 and 45.
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Paula Tracy

Veteran reporter Paula Tracy writes for