- Associated Press - Monday, November 2, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio Department of Medicaid proposal to reduce or eliminate funding for its nursing services in the coming months is causing concern for some families.

A total of 2,591 Ohio residents received private nursing care through Medicaid during the state fiscal year that ended on June 30, The Columbus Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/1PXao7c ).

Officials said that, as of now, only the rates paid for nursing services have been changed. State Medicaid spokesman Sam Rossi said in a statement that no other changes have been made to the private-duty nursing policy. On a case-by-case basis, an individual’s service authorization could change depending upon their level-of-care needs, Rossi said.

Ohio Medicaid said individuals and families have filed 11 appeals of changes in their private-duty nursing services in the third quarter of this year, compared to nine in the second quarter and seven in the first.

Of the 19 appeals heard, Ohio Medicaid’s initial decision was upheld 16 times.

Gary Tonks, executive director of an advocacy group for the developmentally disabled, said Ohio Medicaid officials might have some legitimate reasons for switching enrollees from nursing services to alternative care.

Tonks said many families have been told that their loved ones need skilled nursing care and are now “understandably skeptical.”

“You’re going to see a lot of parents potentially have to give up their full-time jobs or part-time jobs to take care of their kids,” said Rep. Andrew Brenner, a Powell Republican. “We can’t add an economic hardship on somebody on top of everything else that they’re dealing with.”


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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