CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

February 27, 2014

50 more local slots available for Medicaid waiver program

By Tiffeny Owens
The Cullman Times

— The state has given the North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) 50 additional slots for its Medicaid waiver program which allows those receiving the assistance to stay in their homes rather than be moved to nursing facilities.

In all, NARCOG, which serves Cullman, Morgan and Lawrence counties, will have 414 slots available, said NARCOG Executive Director Jeffrey Pruitt. The program provides in-home care for those eligible for Medicaid who might otherwise require care in a nursing home or other institutionalized facilities.

“A person is assigned a case manager that determines what exactly their needs are, whether it’s a nurse in the home or someone to help with some basic housework,” Pruitt said. “Then the case manager works with direct care providers to send those people to the client’s homes to help them.”

The program is estimated to save Medicaid $5,000 per month per client, he said. On a statewide level, the savings are in the millions. The Medicaid waiver program has grown in recent years to become the largest program operated by NARCOG, Pruitt said.

NARCOG needs to fill the slots as soon as possible and is establishing a team to handle the additional 50 slots, Pruitt said. Potential clients must be evaluated by a medical professional and meet eligibility requirements. Pruitt said there is already a waiting list for the program.

Case managers are required to complete home visits monthly. Services are based on the need of the individual, and not everyone will require all of these services. Assistance includes help with general household activities such as meal preparation and routine housecleaning; eating, personal hygiene, and other activities; observation, supervision, and socialization for a functionally impaired adult as well as frozen and breakfast meals for those unable to meet their own nutritional needs.

For more information about the program, contact NARCOG at 256-355-4515.



Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at towens@cullmantimes.com or phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.