Home Based Care Decision For Disabled Pushed Off Until January

Sep 26, 2014

Department of Human Services Director John Selig
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A recent push by disability rights advocates for more home-based care was delayed Thursday at least until next year. Currently the disabled are provided coverage through Medicaid in institutional settings like nursing homes and Human Development Centers.

The Community First Choice Option, or CFCO, would allow people to choose between institutional care and care at home.

At a committee meeting state health officials said they’d wait until January to ask for the change because of concerns expressed by some legislators.

Josh Wilson, with the Arkansas Waiver Association, said he is disappointed.

“I think that puts people in a bad position because there are 3,000 people right now on the waiting list and they are going to have to wait even longer. Some of them have been waiting up to 10 years right now. I think it’s a bad decision and we need to do something now to get these people the services that they need,” said Wilson.

Wilson said because the CFCO is part of the Affordable Care Act, that state’s need to approve, some legislators might be wary of associating with the program.

Department of Human Services Director John Selig said failing to act opens up the state to the possibility of a lawsuit for failure to provide community-based care when possible. Selig said the years-long wait time for home care would be difficult to defend.