Idaho is changing its plans for Medicaid cuts that had been scheduled to take effect Feb. 1, because of concerns that they will make it harder for people with severe disabilities to get in-home care.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced on its blog Tuesday that it plans to study the costs of providing care before moving ahead with a large reduction in rates that Medicaid pays in-home care providers.
Many providers pushed back when the department announced the cuts in December. Providers were especially critical of a reduction in daily payments for “intense” services, to $270 from almost $500 per patient. Businesses including New Leaf in Meridian said they could not afford to continue providing one-on-one, around-the-clock care at those rates.
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Almost 200 people in Idaho receive the “intense” level of services. All but 32 have one-on-one care.
Medicaid will pay $455 a day for care to those individuals, until it completes a cost survey.
“We said from the very beginning that [we could reconsider] if we thought there would be an access or quality problem,” said department spokesman Tom Shanahan. “There were strong indications that we could have an access problem developing.”
Shanahan said it should take about six months for the department to finish its review, which will look at what every provider spends on direct-care staffing, administrative and other costs. The new rates will be based on the 75th percentile.