Carroll DSS chief warns against Medicaid cut

November 25, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

About 44 frail, elderly Carroll County people will have nowhere to go if the state changes the Medicaid regulations that now pay for nursing home care, say a group of social service officials.

"A nursing home placement is the last option," reads a letter to the state Senate committee from the heads of several health, aging and social agencies.

The General Assembly is set to consider in January a measure that would cut off Medicaid payments for nursing home patients who are poor but have incomes of $1,055 or more a month. In Carroll, about 44 people at any given time fall into that category, said M. Alexander Jones, director of the Carroll County Department of Social Services.

Mr. Jones said some of those people's lives could be in danger if they are put out of nursing homes and lose the skilled care they need.

"If that happened and some patient died, would there not be an element of liability for the state?" Mr. Jones told the board of directors for his agency at its meeting yesterday.

The letter is also signed by Carroll County Health Officer Janet Neslen; Human Services Programs of Carroll County Inc. Director Sylvia Canon; Carroll Bureau of Aging Chief Janet Flora; and Carroll County General Hospital Vice President Deanna Dell.

In other business yesterday before the board:

* Mr. Jones announced the resignation of Board Chairman Miller Davis. Mr. Davis resigned because of the potential for an appearance of a conflict of interest. His wife is an attorney in private practice and in a position to take cases that involve the Department of Social Services, Mr. Jones said.

Vice chairwoman Suzanne Goode has become the chairman, and the board has yet to fill Mr. Davis' seat and elect a new vice chairman.

* Reports of sexual abuse are up this year, but Mr. Jones said he and his staff have not figured out why.

For the month of October, Carroll had 16 reports of sexual abuse or assault and seven reports of neglect. In October 1991, the numbers were reversed. There were six reports of sexual abuse and 18 reports of neglect.

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