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Voters need to participate in town & school deliberative sessions

To The Daily Sun,

The Alton School Deliberative Session, on Jan. 30, 1 p.m. and the Alton Town Deliberative Session, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., are two very important meetings for residents to attend.

For months the selectmen, department heads, Budget Committee and School Board have been creating new budgets and warrant articles. These budgets and warrant articles have a direct link to the money you'll have to pay for taxes. At the Deliberative Sessions, individuals are able to stand and make motions to increase or decrease spending. Every resident then votes on the motions. Without your involvement, nothing changes and if you don't want your taxes to increase, come to the Deliberative Sessions. The same goes for those wishing for increased taxes.

Without resident participation, the same few people control the outcome for town and school operations and budgets. Please consider making the time to
attend these important meetings and participate in how the town and school can spend your tax dollars.

Barbara Howard
Alton

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Sun report ignored real driver of Medicaid reimbursement rates

To The Daily Sun,

After the Jan. 20 Belknap County Commission meeting, I handed a paper which summarized the effects of state policy in nursing home reimbursement for Medicaid patients to Roger Amsden. The ratio of Medicaid patients to "all payers" is what drives the per diem rate for Medicaid reimbursement and that is the primary reason for a decrease in state payments.

Ignoring what I documented on Jan. 20, Mr. Amsden reported on Jan. 23 that it is the lack of electronic medical reporting which accounts for the decreased payment from the Department of Health and Human Services. The illogic of blaming the lack of EMR for the change in reimbursement is the reason I decided to investigate how the state sets Medicaid rates. It is what the state refers to as Case Mix Index, and our higher proportion of Medicare patients and private patients in 2015 accounts for the loss of about $180,000.

The other glaring error in Mr. Amsden's article is his reporting that it was the former nursing home director who was responsible for our nursing home not having a receptionist. Firstly, Mr. Logue was here for two years, and the nursing home has not had a receptionist for seven years. Secondly, it was the responsibility of prior commissions to prepare a budget and there is no evidence that they requested money for a receptionist. Indeed, the nursing home was a favorite whipping boy of past commissions.

For Mr. Amsden to report that a former nursing home administrator was responsible for the lack of a receptionist shows a peculiar lack of interest in analyzing what he is told by people in administrative support.

Dick Burchell
Belknap County Commissioner, District 2
Gilmanton

 

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