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Current Newsletter - Friends of Long-Term Care

Providing Consumer-Focused Advocacy and Education - August News

North Carolina's 10 Most Penalized Adult Care Homes

Consumer Voices

Over the past few weeks Carolina Public Press and reporters, Frank Taylor and Michael Gebelein, published an investigative series on NC's Adult Care Home System regulatory system. One of these reports in the series, Paying for mistakes: North Carolina’s 10 most penalized adult care homes, analyses data over the past three years related to our most penalized facilities.

Adult care homes in North Carolina provide housing to large numbers of people with mental illness and physical disabilities, and these facilities face legal requirements to provide adequate supervision, nutrition, medical care and safe facility conditions. A regimen of county and state inspections monitor the quality and safety of these facilities.

For the past six months, Carolina Public Press has reviewed inspection records for each of the approximately 1,200 adult care homes in North Carolina. The smallest facilities can house six residents, while the largest may have 150 or more.


Low Medicaid rates limit beneficiaries’ access to assisted living facilities & quality care

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—More than 700,000 elderly and disabled Americans receive health care in residential care communities, such as assisted living facilities. As the population ages, this number will grow.

A new study by RTI International found that low Medicaid payment rates for services in assisted living and similar settings discourage residential care providers from serving Medicaid beneficiaries, which limits their access to community-based residential care. The study found that some residential care settings limit the number of Medicaid residents they serve or decrease operating expenses in ways that may also reduce quality of care.

"Medicaid payment rates only cover services in residential care settings; they do not cover room and board,” said Michael Lepore, Ph.D., senior health policy and health services researcher at RTI and lead author of the study. “One of the access barriers is the difficulty that Medicaid beneficiaries have paying for room and board in residential care settings because of their low incomes. This situation dissuades residential care providers from serving Medicaid beneficiaries."

Residential care settings are community-based homes or facilities that offer room, board and care services, the most popular being assisted living. Compared to nursing homes, these settings often are less institutional and are often the preferred setting. If Medicaid beneficiaries with long-term service and support needs cannot access residential care settings, then nursing homes may be their only option, ultimately costing taxpayers more money because Medicaid payment rates for nursing homes are higher.

The study, published in the Journal of Housing for the Elderly, found barriers that influence Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to state-licensed residential care include Medicaid reimbursement rates for services, the supply of Medicaid-certified residential care settings and beds, and policies that affect room and board costs for Medicaid beneficiaries. Researchers examined Medicaid policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, interviewed subject-matter experts, and conducted four state case studies informed by reviews of state policies and stakeholder interviews.

"States need to ensure their Medicaid rates for residential care services are sufficient to maintain an adequate supply of these settings and beds available to Medicaid beneficiaries, while also safeguarding quality of care and taxpayer resources,” Lepore said. “Higher Medicaid rates may encourage more residential care settings to serve Medicaid beneficiaries, which may help reduce nursing home use by older adults and people with disabilities and potentially reduce Medicaid spending on long-term services and supports."

Do You Know of Someone Harmed in a Facility?

Friends of Residents coordinates a Lawyer Referral Service. Our mission is to help you find an experienced attorney in North Carolina who practices in the areas of elder abuse, neglect, nursing home litigation, or medical malpractice. Attorneys who participate in our Lawyer Referral Service are insured, in good standing throughout the state of North Carolina, and have at least eight years of experience in the area of long-term care litigation. This is a FREE service to help you learn more about your legal rights.

How does it work?

STEP 1: Call us at 919-782-1530 to discuss your questions or concerns. If you have a concern about possible elder abuse or neglect, we will put you in touch with an experienced attorney who will review your case for FREE.

STEP 2: The attorney will review your problem and will be in touch with you promptly to let you know if they can help you. Customary legal fees then apply. Usually, if the attorney takes your case, they will work with you on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will only pay attorney's fees if you win the case.

Please consider donating to help improve long-term care

Your tax-deductible donation supports our mission to improve long-term care in residential and community settings throughout the state. Your support allows us to answer questions on our Consumer Warm-Line, develop workshops for long-term care residents and their family members, and raise public awareness about long-term care issues. Click here to support Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care. Thank you so much for your help!

Copyright © 2017 Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, All rights reserved.


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