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Kentucky Nursing Home Residents Victims of Medicaid Cuts

  • September 5th, 2003

States across the country are facing budget deficits, and many are attempting to make up the shortfall by cutting care to Medicaid recipients. In some states, like Kentucky, these cuts are now affecting nursing home patients.

More than 2,000 people in the Bluegrass State have been told they no longer qualify for the Medicaid services and will have to move out of their nursing home or stop getting the home care services they depend on.

This is happening because Kentucky recently changed the eligibility requirements to receive Medicaid-covered long-term care. "You have to be sicker than you used to be,'' says Dick Cullison, director of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, which is handling appeals for nearly 20 seniors in northern Kentucky.

Kentucky residents on Medicaid are re-certified each year. In October 2002, the state reviewed 7,079 cases and denied 33. But between April 1 of this year, when the cuts took effect, and the end of July, 2,053 people had been denied Medicaid services.

Some lawmakers have questioned whether the cuts will end up costing the state more if people's health deteriorates for lack of proper care and they are forced into hospitals.

James Hosier of Morehead, Kentucky, was advised by the nursing home where his 96-year-old mother was living that he would have to pay her expenses of $92 a day if she stayed. Hosier, 57, who works nights as a maintenance worker at Wal-Mart, has been caring for his mother himself ever since. He said he is exhausted and consumed by the constant care she requires. 'I ain't been away from home except to go to work since she's been here,' he said.

For an article in the Richmond (Kentucky) Register on the Medicaid cuts, go to: http://www.richmondregister.com/search.cfm?search=detail&ID=7304

For an article in the Kentucky Post on fighting Medicaid service denials, go to: http://www.kypost.com/2003/08/20/medic082003.html

(Articles may be only temporarily available.)

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Last Modified: 09/05/2003

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