Cost-cutting measures that Douglas County Visiting Nurses Assn. took in November appear to be paying off.
According to program director Marceil Lauppe, January budget figures show a modest, but positive balance. The indigent care costs that had pressured VNA's 1994 budget have moderated and should continue to ease, Lauppe said.
In November, the VNA board temporarily froze all new indigent care until Feb. 1 and eliminated VNA's zero fee as part of its sliding scale. The care group also eliminated VNA's Homemaker Program, which had provided cleaning, cooking and laundry services to many homebound patients at little or no fee.
"We have some months to go before we see the full impact of these program changes," Lauppe said. "But for now, it's a relief to have a more comfortable cash flow and to know that VNA will be able to cover the costs of providing indigent care to long-term chronically ill patients with limited means."