Florida’s state legislature decided in 2011 to cap Medicaid funding and turn long-term care over to privately managed companies, and this has resulted in growing waiting lists for Medicaid residents according to a recent study by the Legislature’s policy analysts, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida has three main Medicaid programs that divert people from nursing homes by providing home health care, aides for chores, assisted living and other services. One uses a for-profit, managed care model.
Waiting lists for those programs rose 30 percent last year, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability reported. Meanwhile, the cost of the managed care program was significantly higher than the two traditional nonprofit programs.
Yet Florida is now asking the federal government to eliminate the less expensive programs and turn all at-home services over to managed care beginning in 2013.
The enabling legislation, which passed last session, would cap spending below current levels, adding clients on the waiting lists when the money runs out.
However, researchers say that if the waiting lists continue to grow, some won’t be able to wait and will have to enter nursing homes, which are often significantly more expensive than other forms of long-term care.
Read the full story at the Tampa Bay Times.
Written by Alyssa Gerace