Personal Care Recipients Would Choose Own Providers Under Pilot
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 3, 2004
FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY--Some Medicaid recipients would be allowed to choose their in-home service providers under a bill passed unanimously by the state House last week.
House Bill 116 would "provide more independence for those that have so long depended on someone to take care of them without having had any choice who does that," said the bill's sponsor Representative Jimmie Lee.
The measure would develop a 3-year pilot project to allow up to 100,000 recipients of Medicaid personal care services to meet with health-care advisors to set a budget based on the amount of care the person needs. The individual would then be assigned a "fiscal agent" to pay the bills and hold the Medicaid money. Agents would be hired by the state, but providers would be selected by the service recipients.
Even though the bill passed the House 96-0, Senator Julie Denton, chair of the Health and Welfare Committee said she was not sure whether she would allow a vote in the Senate if it is assigned to her committee. Denton said she wants to make sure all Medicaid issues mesh with Governor Ernie Fletcher's plans.
If the measure is passed, it would cost the state an estimated $900,000 in start-up funds, along with a $100,000 annual contribution from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Cabinet for Health Services would need a federal waiver to begin the pilot program. About seven states have obtained the waivers, Rep. Lee told the Courier-Journal.