Clip files / Local news from the states

This column features selected short items about state health care policy.

HHS approves PA plan to help disabled adults live at home

WASHINGTON, DC—HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced approval of Pennsylvania’s plan to expand the number of disabled adults who receive assistance through Medicaid so they can remain in their homes and out of nursing facilities. The change will increase the number of people served by the waiver from 8,385 to 10,049. Pennsylvania’s newly amended home and community-based services waiver will provide services to adults ages 60 and older who otherwise would require care in a nursing home. Services offered under the waiver include home support, personal care services, respite care, transportation, and home-delivered meals. State officials have the authority to increase the waiver to as many as 14,123 individuals.

—HHS Release, Dec. 2, 2002

TennCare cut targets 50,400 more

NASHVILLE, TN—Another 50,400 Tennesseans were notified they’re losing TennCare coverage, bringing to 138,410 the number cut from the state’s health program for the poor and uninsurable. Another 77,000 had until Dec. 29 to either get through TennCare’s complex reverification process or lose health coverage, and at least 26,000 other cases are pending. More than 17,000 have filed appeals of their cutoffs. All of TennCare’s 577,000 non-Medicaid enrollees had to complete reverification before Jan. 1 to find out if they still qualified for the scaled-back TennCare program. But the process has been so fraught with problems that TennCare advocates, legislators, and Gov.-elect Phil Bredesen agreed it was fundamentally flawed and cut off people who qualify for the program and desperately need coverage.

Memphis Commercial Appeal, Dec. 5, 2002