Bridge funding made available to group homes statewide

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 2, 2013

An allocation by the NC General Assembly for $4.6 million is now available for group homes within the state and Ashe County.

“I am excited this is available to group homes and I hope we will be able to actually access the money,” said Shari Rognstad, the director of the Summit Support Services of Ashe.

She said the money will help if they can receive it. Rognstad said organizations had to be on a state list in order to receive the funding.

According to an Aug. 21 press release by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, bridge funding was made available following law changes in January which made some individuals in group homes no longer eligible for Medicaid-funded Personal Care Services.

Julie Henry, spokesperson for the NC DHHS said that assisted living facilities are not included in terms of who can receive the bridge funding.

For the bridge fund, group homes include intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, as well as homes and day services for children and adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities or substance abuse issues. Henry said there are 3,665 group homes in the state which qualify for the funds.

The allocation is one-time funding and is meant for short-term assistance. For the 2013-14 fiscal year, group homes which qualify will receive $464.30 for each qualifying resident.

There are numerous requirements in order for group homes to receive the benefits.

Residents must have been denied Medicaid for personal care services on Jan. 1, 2013, the resident cannot have a pending appeal with Medicaid and the resident has to have been living in the group home since Dec. 31, 2012.

The monthly payments will continue until June 30, 2014 or whenever the funds are gone.

According to the press release, a long term plan for those residing in group homes will be presented to the state General Assembly by April 2014.