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Group Worries State Taking Away Senior Funding

Some worry that Daniels' will not be funding home health care to seniors and have petitioned him to restore the money.

nursing home

Photo: Devon Christopher Adams (Flickr)

One group says funding senior home health care will mean less people in nursing homes.

The Indiana Home Care Task Force, or IHCTF, is calling on Governor Mitch Daniels to ensure the CHOICE home health care program for seniors is fully funded by the Family and Social Services Administration.

The state legislature’s 2011 budget allocated about $48 million for the CHOICE program, keeping its funding at the same level as the previous budget. Of that $48 million, up to $15 million is for the Family and Social Services Administration to use on waivers that can be partially recouped by Medicaid.

Setting aside administrative costs, the remaining money – around $30 million – is to be used for CHOICE service. Recently, FSSA let out contracts worth only about $20 million. IHCTF leaders sent a letter to the governor Tuesday asking why all of the money wasn’t used. FSSA spokesperson Marcus Barlow says the agencies receiving CHOICE dollars will receive the full amounts.

“Normally,” he said, “these contracts didn’t go out until August. We sent the contracts out in May because they wanted to get them earlier and then we told them that they would have amendments that would fulfill the rest of that funding.”

But IHCTF chair John Cardwell says FSSA has made promises in the past that it hasn’t kept.

“They do not have a track record with any credibility with us,” he said.

Barlow called the allegations ridiculous and irresponsible.

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