State Rejects Grant That Would Have Allowed Seniors to Keep Living At Home
Recently a legislative panel in Tallahassee rejected a federal grant that would have helped move elderly patients out of nursing facilities, instead providing them with similar care in their homes. The $2.1 million grant would have covered administrative costs and allowed Florida to receive an additional $35.7 million in Medicare funding. Florida is one of 13 states offered this money and would have joined 29 other states and the District of Columbia in the program.
The Miami Herald reports that while it was approved by the state Senate, the House rejected the grant. Representatives argue that the funding is unnecessary as it duplicates the existing efforts to send elderly citizens home with proper care.
The federal money would have allowed 1,700 residents to transfer from their nursing homes and assisted living facilities back to their own homes. This process not only saves Medicaid money, it allows people to live where they are comfortable and maintain their senses of dignity.
Florida nursing home and assisted living facilities have recently been plagued with funding issues and budget cuts. With some of these locations being epicenters of elder abuse and assisted living facility neglect, the diversion process seems like a good idea for many. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs explains the program is meant to provide services to older persons who might otherwise be placed in a nursing home. These alternatives are cheaper than living in a Medicaid nursing home.