(Host) The Douglas administration is seeking a waiver from the federal government to allow the state to expand home and community based health care programs for elderly Vermonters. The goal of the plan is to reduce the use of more expensive institutional care when patients are capable of receiving critical services in their homes.
State Aging and Disabilities Commissioner Patrick Flood says the waiver will give the state much more flexibility to help individuals who want to stay in their homes as they get older.
(Flood) “Already this year we’ve had to limit home and community based care to some people because of the budget situation. Once we do that, people who need care still have an entitlement to nursing home care and we have today nearly 300 empty nursing home beds. If we limit home and community based care, the only alternative is the more expensive nursing home. Then we’re going to spend more money to serve fewer people. If those nursing home beds filled up today, 300 beds at $50,000 a year to the Medicaid program – that’s a lot of money.”
(Host) The Douglas administration estimates that it can save approximately $100 million over the next six years if the waiver is granted by the Bush administration.