Baton Rouge — There are now options other than nursing homes for aging citizens who require some assistance. Under a new Medicaid program being offered by the Department of Health and Hospitals, some people with disabilities and elderly people can receive in-home care and services.
The Long Term Personal Care Services program is intended to provide personal care assistance to qualified Medicaid recipients so that they may continue to live in their own homes. It is designed to supplement existing family and/or community supports and services. The program will provide help with one or more of the following activities: eating, grooming, bathing, moving/walking, dressing and going to the bathroom.
LDH Secretary David Hood said it is the goal of the agency to commit to a health care system that best meets the needs of elderly and disabled citizens.
"This means that we must have options other than institutional care for our elderly citizens and for those with disabilities," he said. "This new personal care program is an example of the community-based services that more and more people are demanding.
"Ultimately, providing in-home care for just a few hours a day is significantly less expensive than confining that same person to a 24-hour facility," Hood added.
In order to qualify for the program, an individual must be a currently eligible Medicaid recipient who is age 65 or older, or age 21 or older with disabilities. In addition, the recipient must meet the medical standards for admission to a nursing facility, be able to participate in his/her care and direct the services provided by the personal care worker independently or through someone designated to act on behalf of the recipient.
Hood said LDH is committed to not exceeding the budget projection of $19 million for this fiscal year. "Our goal is to provide quality services, meet all the requirements of the court and do so within the legislative appropriation," Hood added. "We have the controls in place to monitor the program on a weekly basis to make certain we are properly serving those who qualify, as well as assure the financial stability of the program."
Medicaid recipients who need assistance with one or more of the activities of daily living can get more information by contacting Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) at 1-866-229-5222. An ACS telephone operator will ask for Medicaid information and will help schedule an appointment for a required in-home assessment.
LDH has more than 130 providers enrolled to participate as personal care services agencies in the Medicaid program. In order to enroll as a Medicaid personal care services provider, an agency must obtain a Personal Care Attendant license from the Department of Social Services. Agencies that are interested in enrolling as providers my call Unisys Provider Relations at 225-924-5040 or 1-800-473-2783 to request a provider enrollment packet.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much will Affiliated Computer Services be paid?
For these long-term care services, ACS will be paid $710,041 from the implementation of the program to the end of the ACS contract on June 30, 2004.
What will ACS do?
- Manage the toll-free telephone helpline and receive requests for services;
- Conduct home visits to complete the assessment document that will be utilized to identify the recipient's need for services and to determine if the recipient qualifies for services;
- Assist the recipient to obtain medical documentation from his/her primary care physician;
- Prepare a plan of care for the recipient;
- Issue approval or disapproval notices to recipients;
- Issue prior authorization notices to providers; and
- Handle interims to the plan of care and conduct annual reassessments to ensure that the recipient continues to qualify for services.
How many providers have been enrolled?
Approximately 133 people have been enrolled as personal care services providers.
How many people is LDH estimated to serve this year?
About 2,300 people this fiscal year
What is the estimated cost for this year?
About $19 million