State Ends Nursing Home Payday Loans
The change was welcome news at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which regulates nursing homes but had no control over the unique lending practice.
"We're concerned, as the governor was very concerned, that employers could be charging exorbitant prices to, or interest rates to, their employees," said DHSS Director Nanci Gonder.
Without specific regulation, there was no limit on interest rates, although the governor's spokesman said it was often 10-15% or more.
"That would be something more that some of the nursing home operators could answer, if they would talk with you," said Spence Jackson.
The four mid-Missouri facilities are in Columbia, Ashland, Fulton and Eldon. KOMU-TV called managers at two of them, but they refused on-camera interviews.
In fact, Ashland Health Care Administrator Beth Bowles hung up, then called back later to answer some questions. She said employees could get loans of up to $500 at a time, but she would not say what interest rate the nursing home charged them.
If nursing home employees want loans, the governor's office recommends they do business elsewhere.
"There's no reason that it ought to be located in the institution itself," Jackson said.