25 January 2010

In-Home Care in West Virginia

"More than 900 elderly and disabled people have been medically approved for the state's in-home care program, but are getting no services," The Charleston Gazette reports.

The newspapers highlights the continuing impasse between legislators and the Department of Health and Human Resources over management and funding of the program.

"For 28 years, the in-home program has helped elderly and disabled West Virginians stay in their homes and out of nursing homes. Home visitors do chores, cook, and clean and otherwise help people live at home," The Gazette explains. But while more than 930 people have been deemed medically eligible for the program, "DHHR has not done the financial eligibility paperwork for (them)."

The department blames inadequate funding for the backlog, while also arguing that there is no "waiting list." This part of the impasse touches on the debate over whether the state should tap a surplus in its Medicaid funding, or hold it in reserve to help with projected future deficits in that program.

A companion article from The Gazette gives voice to those waiting for a space in the program, and their family members.

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