State to discuss timeline for nursing home evictions

Louisiana to warn thousands of elderly, disabled they may lose Medicaid

"I don't know what they'd do and it would be sad for that to happen".

According to Johannessen, the remaining 17,000 individuals affected are those with developmental disabilities who reside in group homes and people who receive nursing and other services in their own homes. Officially called the Long Term Special Income Limit program, 83 percent of the people now living in nursing homes or other institutions will be displaced from their residence.

Read the letter being sent to Medicaid recipients here.

The Louisiana Nursing Home Association said the Medicaid Long Term Care Special Income Level program provides health services for about 80% of nursing facility residents.

"Because of possible budget cuts, these programs may end as of July 1, 2018, but the federal government must first approve ending the programs". In Lafayette, where Lafayette General runs the city's only charity hospital, officials say the safety net hospital will close under the current budget proposal.

In practice, Wayne Plaisance, the CEO of Chateau de Notre Dame, said the cuts will not only impact the hundreds of residents within his facilities, but he believes some may be short-sighted in not seeing how the cuts could also leave his workers unemployed and area businesses with significantly less business. The House has been unable to agree on what taxes should be passed to replace those that are falling off the books so far.

Gee said the elimination of Medicaid eligibility is an unprecedented action that will have real and dire consequences.

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"This is premature at best, reckless at worst", Henry said. "These are not cuts we want to make, but the fundamental truth remains these are cuts we are being forced to make considering the lack of funding available for critical health care services", said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.

Health officials have been saying for months that they would have to eliminate these Medicaid programs, unless they received more funding.

"If those notices go out, they will kill people", he said.

Sending the eviction notices could add to the pressure on the Legislature to come up with a different solution. "You are getting this letter because you or someone in your household is now enrolled in Louisiana Medicaid through the Provisional Medicaid, Medically Needy, Medically Needy Spenddown or Long Term Care Special Income level program".

There are ways the Medicaid cuts - should the Legislature vote for them - could be delayed. Almost 75 percent of nursing home residents in Louisiana are covered with Medicaid. Advocates for people with disabilities would likely sue the state to stop the cuts from happening. If the state's request is approved, the state would have create plan to relocate Medicaid recipients. At-home health care services would also have to notify people they are losing their assistance.

Some nursing homes are hoping for the best.

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