State money to help group homes deal with Medicaid changes

Posted August 21, 2013

— 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.


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  • racoats3 Aug 22, 2013

    It is shameful that our elderly do not get the consideration and financial assistance for care like the developmental individuals in ICF/DD (MR) group home and state operated facilities get from the federal government. I put fault on Congress for paying for individual services for individuals with severe and profound MR ($300K/yr)in some cases per individual to try to teach individuals with severe and profound cognitive who are in their 40's on up to bathe, handle finances, dress, choose an outfit to wear, etc when our elderly are in need of care too. There should be a cut off point for Medicaid dollars going to teach individuals with severe and profound MR to do those things because if they haven't learned how to bather by the age of 40, they probably won't. Those Medicaid dollars could be dispersed equitably and help more people. Food for thought.

  • happymom Aug 22, 2013

    This is about longterm care dollars to support adults who can not live on their own. Medicaid changed their rules and these homes in NC were hit with the financial fall-out. It has nothing to do with ObamaCare (been going on for years now) and nothing to do with a scam, a free lunch, DHHS salaries, etc.

    It's about how the state will care for developmentally disabled people who can not care for themselves.

    Geez, people. Read the story before you jump on a wild tangent.

  • notexactly Aug 22, 2013

    in the end, if Obama care does fully get going, we will see the cost of it and the cost of medicare and Medicaid go up and up. Obama care will not help the cost of anything for the ones that are paying for care now. We will be the ones paying for everyone else's care, like now. I think medicare should be the program that gets all the money it needs. That is for the elderly and it should not cost them anything.

  • racoats3 Aug 22, 2013

    oh yeah, you want to know where the $21 million saved in DHHS salaries is coming from? Well, DHHS has had a hiring freeze since last spring. Vacant positions have been unfilled leaving other employees to do double work. If you take two of those guys' raises, you could hire one or two staff depending on the positions. I still blame Easley and Perdue for the state budget problems, but what McCrory and Wos did in hiring these people into these positions at those salaries was a punch in the guts to most other state employees. We are always told we can't hire applicants at high salary amounts because others who are already working there are making much less. We have come to the conclusion, all politicians are crooked in one way of the other. And by Dr. Wos not getting a salary, we often wonder if she really cares about how her decisions affects the employees as she has no real vested interest through pay and keeping her position. Remember - all of you state employees need to bathe daily!

  • whatelseisnew Aug 21, 2013

    "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."

    Yeah it is a shame that States let themselves be suckered into the Medicaid scam by the Federal Government. But hey Greedy politicians THOUGHT they saw a free lunch. Grab the dollars and figure you can operate the program for less than the offered dollars. thankfully they did not fall for the latest scam that is part of ObamaCare. Crazy part of this is, ObamaCare could have and SHOULD have eliminated both Medicaid and Medicare. that would have saved a lot of money all the way around.