By: Daryn Clark
Due to a reduction in Federal money received by Louisiana for Medicaid services, as well as the increased demand over the last 5 months for these services, Louisiana Medicaid funds are running out for 2010.
When it comes to services for those with developmental disabilities and the aging, stark reductions in the amount of services offered as well as the amount paid to provide the services have been proposed. Community Care Programs have been eliminated. Emergency room visits and prescriptions covered under Medicaid are also being reduced by up to 25%.
The effective date communicated for the cuts to Louisiana citizens and providers is December 1, 2010. DHH is looking at immediately reducing the rates and the amounts of services used to support people in their community. The one time money put into this current year’s State budget to make ends meet was not enough to get the State through 2010/2011.
Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, OCDD, recently gathered providers from around the state for a frank discussion in Baton Rouge at the state library. SII attended the meeting and is working hard to impact the process in a positive way. The reality of the cuts was communicated by several state representatives. The two types of cuts they discussed were reductions in the number of support hours offered to recipients, and cuts to the rates that are paid for the services.
Either way providers of service will find it challenging to meet the needs of the individual, Louisiana, and the provider agency itself. Moreover OCDD communicates that no “one-time” money exists anymore and going into the next fiscal budget more hurdles will have to be overcome for programs to stay viable (businesses and programs to stay “alive”).
There is a meeting scheduled for November 30, 2010 to further discuss the problems and the reductions being made to solve them. Consumers and their families are encouraged to go.
If you have ideas, comments or questions please contact me via https://www.southerningenuityinc.com/contact Working together we can keep services sufficient enough to keep Louisiana’s consumers in their communities.