Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that group homes can now apply for $4.6 million earmarked in the state budget to help them deal with changes in Medicaid eligibility.
The state changed how it funds personal care services for the disabled – help with such daily activities as eating and bathing – in January, prompting the operators of adult care facilities to warn that the loss of Medicaid reimbursements for the services might force them to shut down.
State lawmakers set up an emergency fund early in the year and then set aside money in the budget to ease the transition to the new system for home operators.
To receive bridge funds, each group home must submit information to DHHS about all funding sources to help the agency develop a long-term sustainability plan for residents, officials said.
"Our primary concern is to ensure stability for individuals who live in group homes," DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos said in a statement. "We are actively working with the group home industry to identify short- and long-term solutions for caring for individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities."
Each group home will receive a monthly payment of $464.30 for each qualifying resident during the 2013-14 fiscal year. Residents are not eligible for bridge funding if a Medicaid appeal has been filed and they continue to receive personal care services pending the appeal, officials said.
Funding will continue through June 30, 2014, or until funds have been depleted.
DHHS officials said they expect to have a long-term plan for group home funding by next April, shortly before the 2014 legislative session begins.