The ongoing budget stalemate in Connecticut is now reaching a tipping point, at least for those men and women who rely on in home health care support. Home care is defined as aides and visiting nurses who provide physical, medical, emotional, and other support for the elderly and disabled, and while an executive order by the governor helped to restore $40 million to non-profit agencies that offer services to the intellectually challenged and physically disabled, it did not provide any assurance to agencies offering home care to residents throughout the state.
That means these home care agencies could be left without any financial compensation or reimbursement for services provided to the elderly and disabled. Advocates for these men, women, and children claim that this could force some, if not most, into nursing home care, which is not an ideal situation for most and is often much more expensive than providing these supports in the comfort of a person’s home.
As reported by Mark Davis, writing for WTNH News 8 in Connecticut, in the article, Home health care in jeopardy because of budget stalemate:
“According to David Dearborn at the Connecticut Department of Social Services, in the absence of an enacted state budget, the Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan for Fiscal Year 2018 includes a funding adjustment for DSS that eliminates “home health add-ons” — estimated to save $1.9 million in state funds. To implement this change, DSS is required to submit a State Plan Amendment to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (submitted July 12).
In terms of possible impact on the ability to prevent nursing home placement, these ‘add-ons’ are not an absolutely critical factor. They are a way to provide extra compensation to providers who apply for them (and not all even apply), according to Dearborn.”
When home care agencies are not able to even break even, which will likely happen if the proposed long-term budget cuts are pushed through in an effort to end the stalemate, that could mean more people are left with fewer options. Lower income families and seniors may only find nursing home care to be the only viable option.
These ‘add-ons’ are a contentious issue within the budget and while they don’t mean people can’t receive support through home care, it is causing confusion, frustration, and anxiety for some families and individuals who rely on in home health care services. There’s no word on how soon an agreement could be reached to end the budget stalemate in the state.
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