News10NBC Investigates the home care crisis and we’re following the money

[anvplayer video=”5026132″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC is following the money because money in our investigation into a home care crisis.

Money is the number one reason why families struggle to get a nurse to come to their home to care for their loved one who is an adult, and it’s the state controlling the money.

Scotty Ornt, 28, has severe cerebral palsy and lives at home on Thurston Road in Rochester.

His mother, Nina, is his full-time caregiver because she can’t get a nurse to come to the house to care for him.

"Basically there is a huge problem going on right now regarding people getting nurses," Ornt said.

This is the issue we’re exposing.

It started with the Shanley family in Perinton.

They had to find a private duty nurse on their own for their adult daughter Madeline.

Four weeks later, the Shanley’s discovered home security video of the nurse going through their house and the nurse was arrested for stealing from them.

"We hope that this story will let people know how difficult it is to receive care when you are going through a health crisis," Jennifer Shanley said.

Here is why the problem is money: The system set up by the state pays nurses more if they care for children instead of adults.

Here’s now the pay differences look:

Pediatric care pay per hour

  • low tech:
    • RN: $46.18
    • LPN: $38.74
  • high tech:
    • RN: $52.91
    • LPN: $43.82

Adult care pay per hour

  • low tech
    • RN: $27.30
    • LPN: $22.92
  • high tech
    • RN: $31.31
    • LPN: $25.93

At 40 hours a week, a nurse could make about $45,000 more a year caring for a child instead of an adult.

Nina Ornt has a petition asking the state to pay the same rate for adult cases. She’s halfway to 500 signatures.

"I’m not saying they shouldn’t be getting the pay they’re getting, I’m saying it should be equal for all because it’s just causing, it’s terrible. I can’t even put into words how bad it is trying to find a nurse," she said.

The problem will likely get worse next year because the pay rate for pediatric in-home care goes up another 15%.

The question is: Why? I asked the New York State Department of Health that question.

They promptly answered that they’re investing millions into the service and raised the pediatric age to 23.

But the state provided no answer to the pay difference.

I’ll keep working to figure that out.