Jan. 1, 2013, became a monumental date for all of us as we engaged in New Year’s celebrations and traditions that have been passed down for centuries but unfortunately due to the fear-inducing Medicaid changes that NC residents are currently facing, not all were celebrating as January approached.
As of Jan. 1, 2013, new PCS Medicaid laws went into effect in North Carolina. This brought about many new and pressing problems involving changes that directly affect the care that our loved ones are receiving in Assisted Living facilities here in North Carolina.
As you may or may not be aware, these services that Medicaid provides are known as personal care services (PCS). These services are designed to assist residents with their activities of daily living (ADL’s). This includes bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and mobility. Prior to Jan. 1, 2013, all residents received a lump sum of benefits designated for their ADL’s when they entered assisted living care based on their personal needs. Furthermore, if additional assistance was needed for residents’ plan of care, further funding from Medicaid was provided to meet those needs. Now, unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
Effective Jan. 1, 2013, each individual was re-evaluated to determine how many hours of care were needed to adequately accommodate their personal care needs. Each resident was eligible to receive up to 80 hours of ADL assistance. This was beneficial to those who required a larger amount of hands-on care with ADL’s. However, for those who require less assistance with personal care and more assistance with medication monitoring, for example, their funding is no longer being provided. Many facilities will be forced to discharge residents due to the change in their Medicaid funding. This presents an added hardship on the facilities and more importantly the residents that call these facilities home. There is nothing more frightening than the fear of losing one’s home and I am sad to say it is a fear voiced by the residents living in assisted living. This is unacceptable.
Many individuals and facilities are contesting these changes and working diligently to continue to provide all the services needed for North Carolina residents. I implore your to acknowledge the seriousness of this issue and the devastating effects it is having on our communities and all residents living in these homes. Let your voice be heard. You can stand up for our elderly and all North Carolina residents in assisted living facilities by contacting your local legislators and providing your opinion on this matter. Together we can make a change.