While certain requests for information regarding how many elderly and disabled adult residents in Cape Girardeau receive in-home care support were not granted, it’s clear there may be a serious problem for Region II of the Department of Health and Senior Services in Cape Girardeau. That’s because cuts to Medicaid reimbursements for this level of care could be on the way.
Residents in Dent County are concerned about the cuts the Missouri governor has proposed. While Republicans are stating that fraud and abuse are a serious problem for Medicaid, those who rely on these types of services wonder how the cuts will impact the quality or availability of the care they receive.
Some within the home health care industry are not pleased with the proposed cuts. According to the Salem News Online, in the news report, New budget would reduce home healthcare services in Dent County, providers say, written by Andrew Sheeley:
“To be quite honest, I feel what they are doing is irresponsible,” says Dakota Stoops, RN, a local home healthcare provider. “If they do this, they will save a little money on the front end, yes, but without in-home healthcare all those elderly and disabled residents who are no longer eligible will have only emergency room care available to them. That burden will end up costing taxpayers more in the long run, and deprive many of our most vulnerable clients from the care they need to survive.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the change in eligibility requirements would take services away from as many as 21,000 elderly and disabled residents statewide. It’s also estimated the reduction could render annual savings of up to $52 million.”
This is a seemingly ongoing battle within many states with tightening budgets and other constraints. There has been a significant crackdown on fraud and abuse within the Medicare and Medicaid systems. On top of all that, the federal government has cut 14% from Medicaid reimbursement to home care support services since 2014 (to help pay for the Affordable Care Act of 2010). There have been proposals for even more cuts to help cover other health care costs to other sectors within the industry.
Every cut puts seniors and disabled adults who rely on in-home care support at risk. Without a clear idea of just how many people rely on these services within a specific county or state, it’s unclear how many could be negatively impacted by even more state-level Medicaid cuts.