Medically Needy Cut Impact

Cuts to a state program in Georgia for the medically needy are affecting local folks. Nursing home residents have been given notice of the ineligibility of state services.

About 1,700 residents in the state will be affected. For the guardians of those folks locally they are trying to figure their next step now that the program has been eliminated.

An effort to save the state about $9 million involves cutting the nursing home medically needy Medicaid program, affecting local nursing home residents like 95-year-old Ora Allen who doesn't qualify for Medicaid.

Billie Cantrell, Ora Allen's daughter, says, "Someone would have to come up with $1,600 a month to keep her in the nursing home and as you can see it would be very difficult to take care of her. We are not physically able to take care of her."

Patty Fowler of Beverly Health Care says most of the guardians of those affected won't be able to take care of the needs of residents once the program is eliminated July 1.

Local nursing home officials are reacting to the changes. They asking anyone who is affected by the cuts to file an appeal through the local Department of Family and Children Services by the end of June.

Patty Fowler, an administrator for Beverly Health Care, says, "What we want to do is make sure these folks still have services. we're not putting them out on the street we want the state to say let's wait and look at this again.”

James Cantrell, Ora Allen's son-in-law, adds, "They didn't give us any warning, maybe 30 days is all we got that were going to be terminated."

James and Billie Cantrell say they will do whatever it takes to make sure Allen continues to get the medical attention she needs.

Changes take affect July 1. Local nursing home officials are urging folks to appeal the changes and what it does is set up these folks with a legal financial arrangement called a Miller Trust.

Local nursing home officials say these people won't have any other type of home care service to fall back on because of their income.