Ohio’s aging network advocated for an increase in provider-reimbursement rates and additional funding for Senior Community Services (SCS) throughout the spring. A 6% increase added in increments through 2022 and 2023 in Medicaid provider rates for home care and assisted living services, and an additional $2 million in state resources for the Senior Community Services (SCS) over two years was approved by the Ohio General Assembly in late June.
Over 90% of individuals express an interest to age in a location of their choice and the cost is 1/6th of the cost of institutional care. Despite the demand, there is a systematic gap that can be seen through the list of 3,000 Ohioans waiting for Medicaid home care. These individuals are eligible for in-home services but cannot access care due to provider shortages stemming from inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates. The increase is expecting to address the salaries of homecare workers, a field facing staffing challenges.
The Medicaid budget also includes an increase of $5 million for Adult Day Services (ADS). ADS can provide respite for caregivers of older adults by allowing for assistance, supervision, and socialization during the day for older adults. The increase of $2 million in Senior Community Services will help to ensure access to resources including nutrition, personal-care, and transportation services for the non-Medicaid population.
In addition, Adult Protective Services (APS) received an increase of $1.5 million to assist in protecting older Ohioans through critical services addressing elder abuse, exploitation, and neglect. “While individuals are wanting to age in place, funding increases like this can make that dream become a reality,” said Doug McGarry, Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2. These financial increases are appreciated and indicate acknowledgment for serving Older Ohioans. Please see our website for more information about our home and community-based services.