"We sincerely regret this action," the letter states. "Should the state Legislature act to restore funding for the ADvantage Waiver before December 1, 2017, DHS will notify you as quickly as possible. "
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services sent letters out to
ADvantage participants on Tuesday, notifying them the program would be
eliminated Nov. 30.
“We regret to inform you DHS must eliminate the ADvantage
Waiver effective December 1, 2017,” the letter states. “Your
participation in the ADvantage Waiver will be funded until November 30,
2017. Since elimination of the ADvantage Waiver affects everyone
receiving services through it, there is no right to appeal this action.”
The ADvantage Waiver Program is designed to help seniors and adults
with disabilities live at home, rather than in a nursing home or a
similar type of adult care.
DHS reported the program serves more than 21,000 people and the loss will impact about 450 providers.
The agency estimated when the program is eliminated, about 10,000 of those served will be forced into nursing homes. DHS noted the state doesn’t have enough nursing homes to accommodate those people.
DHS lost $69 million of its state funding for Fiscal Year 2018. Last week, the agency submitted a revised budget to the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
The revised budget included eliminations of DHS services, including
the ADvantage program. It also would eliminate funding for adult day
services for seniors and adults with disabilities and in-home services
for seniors, including home-delivered meals and home-making services.
DHS spokesman Jeff Wagner said the agency will send additional
letters to participants by Nov. 20 to tell them whether they are
eligible for regular Medicaid benefits. If they are, they likely qualify
for nursing-home care, he said.
“We sincerely regret this action,” the letter states. “Should the
state Legislature act to restore funding for the ADvantage Waiver before
December 1, 2017, DHS will notify you as quickly as possible. ”
On Monday, state lawmakers agreed to pull more
than $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, to be sent to the
Department of Humans Services, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. However, that
would not fill the state’s $215 million budget shortfall.
DHS would receive about $29 million of the $69 million lost.
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DHS sends letters to seniors, disabled adults notifying of home-care program elimination