Money Following The Person Out Of Institutions “Not Feasible,” Says Alabama Medicaid
They Still Won’t Give An Inch To Free Citizens From Nursing Homes
I just watched the Alabama Medicaid commissioner Carol Herrmann spinning and tap-dancing around the Money Follows the Person grant issue on the For The Record show. Alabama Medicaid continues to stick by its decision to refuse to accept federal money for home care. On the show debating Herrmann, Montgomery Independent Living Center director Scott Renner pointed out that CMS surveys have 3,000 Alabamians on record as wanting out of nursing homes. He said if they were to move 1% of current residents out, they would save around $7 million.
But Alabama Medicaid will do anything to avoid slighting the nursing home lobby, do anything to avoid changing their long-term care budget (about 2/3 of which goes to institutional care), do anything to avoid additional expenditures, regardless of what kind of care their consumers want.
It was so disheartening to see Commissioner Herrmann spinning that she is really on the same page with the disability community while on the other hand quietly make ridiculous excuses for refusing this money, like, “our patients will be getting very old and just have to go back into the nursing home,” and “yes, we have a general fund surplus, but other departments need the money more.” AGH!!!
The fact is, Alabama Medicaid does not want to change their antiquated and oppressive system. We have so many already on waiting lists to get out of institutions and into community services, yet Alabama is refusing more funding to meet their needs! The outcry will only grow as our elderly population doubles in the coming years. But Alabama Medicaid won’t give an inch!
The deadline for applying for this grant is November 1st. Alabama Medicaid has dug in their heels. They won’t be applying.
The fact is, we have lost again. It’s only status quo or downhill from here for services in this state, folks.
I feel so much hopelessness and despair.
Filed Under: Health care and Disability Rights