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Slots open in home-care program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Open slots in the state's Aged and Disabled Waiver Services program mean that 120 more West Virginians will get in-home care instead of being at a nursing facility.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources will move the 120 from a managed enrollment list to the waiver program, according to a statement from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office.

The slots became available because over the past year, people in the program have died, left the state, moved to a nursing facility or left the program for another reason.

Federal Medicaid Services rules require that the slots not be refilled until the next fiscal year.

"The Aged and Disabled Waiver program allows those enrolled to receive traditional Medicaid services in addition to other in-home services designed to allow recipients to stay in their homes longer-which is a blessing for all," Tomblin said Monday in a prepared statement.

The waiver program provides assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, mobility and other needs.

The program has been frozen since late last year in order to maintain the current level of services already enrolled in the program, according to Tomblin's office.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved 7,210 slots for fiscal year 2013, which began in July, according to a DHHR spokesperson.

One reason for the freeze was that the federal matching rate dropped from 83.05 percent to 72.62 percent. There was also a 5 percent increase in the average cost per person receiving services.

The program is still frozen, though applications are still being accepted. New applicants are place on the waiting list until funding is available for their services. 

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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