LOS ANGELES — Thousands of Medi-Cal beneficiaries with significant disabilities will now be able to access affordable Medi-Cal care at home, rather than going to a nursing facility. In-home care provides greater stability and health outcomes for individuals and families, and it is cost-effective for the state; but it can be prohibitively costly to pay for out-of-pocket. As a result, married people with disabilities often have to make a draconian choice: impoverish themselves and their spouses or go to a nursing facility. Read More
The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program is a Medi-Cal program in California that pays for in-home care for people with disabilities, including children, adults, and seniors. The purpose of this vital program is to provide services and supports that help people remain safely in their homes and living in the community.
Justice in Aging is releasing a new Advocates Guide about the IHSS program for advocates and individuals who provide assistance to older adults, children, and adults with disabilities. Written with significant support from Disability Rights California, the guide provides in-depth information about the IHSS program and is divided into eight chapters:
- IHSS Program Overview;
- Eligibility and Applying for IHSS;
- Medi-Cal Programs and IHSS;
- IHSS Services Overview;
- Types of Services;
- IHSS Providers;
- Post-Eligibility Issues;
- and Appeals and Hearings.
Vermont Public Radio: Dementia Patients Wait Months For Long-Term Care In Vermont Hospitals (April 24, 2019)
Many seniors in Vermont who suffer from dementia are waiting months, and some up to a year, in hospitals before being accepted into nursing homes. Seniors affected by long wait times also tend to qualify for Medicaid and have health conditions that call for higher staffing needs. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Eric Carlson said that the state’s nursing home waits are “atypical.” And that “the level of difficulty that you’re talking about in Vermont is far above what I think the average is.” Advocates recommend increasing Medicaid’s nursing home reimbursement rate and creating specialized dementia facilities.
Florida Record: More older residents on Medicaid wait list in Florida than any other state, attorney says (January 7, 2019)
A lawsuit has been filed against the state of Florida over extremely long wait time in accessing in-home Medicaid care. Justice in Aging, along with Disability Rights Florida and the Southern Legal Counsel, is representing the six plaintiffs currently suing the state.
“According to national statistics, there are more older adults and adults with disabilities on the wait list for community-based services in Florida than any other state,” Regan Bailey, litigation director for Justice in Aging. “The failure to provide long-term care places people at risk of unnecessarily entering a nursing facility just to get the care they need which should be provided at home.” Read the full article.
Justice in Aging has filed a class action lawsuit against Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Currently, older adults and people with disabilities could wait up to 3.5 years to access in-home health care. Justice in Aging wants Florida to develop more in-home care services for people and increase the capacity of the services it has. Litigation Director Regan Bailey said “it’s a need that’s growing. And the way to meet that need is to provide more community-based services because you can serve many more people for the same money in the community versus in a nursing facility.”
Fox KTVU: Thousands of backlogged cases in Bay Area home care programs (10/11/2017) The Bay Area has thousands of backlogged In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) cases preventing seniors in need of additional in home support. IHSS allows qualified elderly and disabled individuals to hire services in order to remain safely at home. For those in need of additional hours, a social worker must physically visit and assess the claimant’s situation. According to Justice in Aging’s Claire Ramsey, “Every day and month that goes by, that person is living unsafely in their home. People do hurt themselves or fall because they’re not getting help they need…it’s a dangerous situation.”
Two new fact sheets explain two facets of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program—Eligibility and the Application Process, and IHSS Services: Basics. These fact sheets provide a simplified starting place to understand how the eligibility and application process work, what services are available, and how the county determines eligibility for specific services.
California Healthline: California Lawsuit Aims To Protect Spouses Of Disabled From Financial Ruin (7/10/2017) Justice in Aging, along with partner advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit against the State of California for failing to implement a Medicaid federal spousal impoverishment law meant to protect patients and their partners from becoming impoverished while paying for in-home care. Plaintiffs seek to compel the State of California to implement the law back to January 1, 2014, to notify individuals who potentially were eligible for the protections of their rights, and to reimburse them for any out-of-pocket expenses they paid that should have been free.