Waiting for Care: Three-Fourths of States Have Waiting Lists for Some Medicaid Home Care Programs


In a new analysis of survey information from state Medicaid house care methods, KFF discovered that during maximum years since 2016, there were just about 700,000 folks on ready or passion lists for expanded house and community-based products and services (HCBS), with a complete of 692,000 throughout 38 states in 2023 and ready lists averaging 3 years.

Folks with highbrow or developmental disabilities make up virtually three-quarters of ready lists, with seniors and adults with bodily disabilities constituting every other quarter. Folks on ready lists won’t have get entry to to higher hours of house care to beef up actions comparable to bathing, dressing, making ready foods and managing medicine in addition to higher forms of network care, comparable to grownup day care and supported employment, which can be steadily designed to satisfy the desires of particular populations.

States can cap enrollment for those products and services, leading to ready lists (additionally described as “passion lists”) for expanded house care methods when call for surpasses the to be had slots. Whilst those lists are a less than perfect measure of unmet want, there are recently no selection measures.

House care waivers that let states to supply those products and services were in position for the reason that Eighties, however their use higher after the Perfect Court docket’s Olmstead resolution in 1999, which characterised the unjustified institutionalization of folks with disabilities as unlawful discrimination. Because the twenty fifth anniversary of Olmstead nears, folks have cited ready lists as one reason why for persevered discrimination according to incapacity.

Shortages of house care employees may aggravate states’ ready record instances. Despite the fact that states reported expanding supplier fee charges and different efforts to reinforce the personnel, demanding situations stay and a few state insurance policies for addressing those demanding situations ended with the realization of pandemic-era methods.

Every other issue affecting ready record volumes is whether or not states display for Medicaid eligibility sooner than including folks to ready lists. Between 2018 and 2020, waitlist sizes for expanded house care methods fell by means of 19% nationally, in large part because of eligibility checks added to ready lists. Lately, all however six states display their ready lists for Medicaid eligibility.

Laws proposed previous this yr will require states to record the scale in their ready lists.


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