Perdue won't offer funding fix for group homes until next week

lbonner@newsobserver.com December 14, 2012 

Gov. Bev Perdue will not present a solution to the funding problems facing group homes for people with mental disabilities this week, as she said she would on Monday.

Group home providers, residents, and their families are waiting anxiously for Perdue’s announcement because about 2,000 people are in jeopardy of losing Medicaid payments that help pay for their lodging on Jan. 1.

“I think we are still examining all of our options,” said Perdue spokeswoman Christine Mackey. The office will announce its move next week, she said.

The legislature set up a nearly $40 million financial rescue fund for adult care homes whose residents are facing the same Medicaid cut, but group homes are not allowed to tap into it.

Robert Bullock, a group home resident from Cary, received an email from Perdue’s office Wednesday and was disappointed to see it was a Christmas card rather than news about a funding fix. He wants Perdue to call a special legislative session to give legislators a chance to change the law so group homes can receive some of the money set aside for adult care homes.

“I’m starting to get a little antsy,” he said. “When it gets to a place where you lay awake at night wondering whether you’re going to have a roof over your head come Jan. 1, it’s getting to be a little problem.”

Changes to Medicaid rules make it harder for people with mental disabilities living in group homes to qualify for Medicaid reimbursements for personal care services – help bathing, eating, dressing and moving. Group homes use the Medicaid money to help cover residents’ expenses.

Bonner: 919-829-4821

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