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Auditor’s report depicts disarray in R.I. social service programs

By News

The report issued on the roll-out of the computer system shows continued problems

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (“DHS”) which administers the Medicaid program has been attempting to roll out a new computer system for several years. The system was designed to speed up application review and automate the application process to an on-line system. Unfortunately per the auditors report, the system is still experiencing issues. 

For those attorneys who assist elder clients with Medicaid applications this has been a challenging time. Medicaid will pay for the nursing home care needed by these elderly clients who have less than $4,000 in countable assets. It is stressful to family members who have submitted applications for coverage, who have a loved one being cared for at a nursing home, and not knowing if their application has been approved. They fear the consequence of an unexpected denial and how that may impact a spouse or the recipient.

Applicants can wait months or years prior to receiving an approval of their application.

Rhode Island law requires DHS to pay nursing homes for any care given patients who have applications pending for greater than 90 days. This law has allowed payments to go out, facilities to get paid, and patients to receive the care they need, until the application is approved.

Fortunately, the reports also states that things are improving and applications are being reviewed quicker and more accurately. The employees at DHS have done an admirable job overcoming a challenging roll-out but still have much work to do.

Source: Auditor’s report depicts disarray in R.I. social service programs

If you or a loved one wants to learn more about qualifying and applying for Medicaid benefits, please contact our office for a free consultation.

New R.I. computer system goes live Tuesday

By Uncategorized

The $364M computer system will verify eligibility for public-assistance programs, from health coverage to subsidized childcare, cash assistance and the food stamp program known as SNAP.

Source: New R.I. computer system goes live Tuesday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After years of hiccups and delays, the state’s biggest-ever IT project goes live on Tuesday at an estimated cost to state and federal taxpayers of $364 million so far, that may swell to $487.4 million by 2018 if the Raimondo administration gets the additional money it is seeking.

Known as UHIP, the “Unified Health Infrastructure Project” was launched four years ago by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration to take advantage of federal money available for a new enrollment-and-tracking system for Obamacare enrollees.DHS banner

Then it grew — and grew — to more than triple the initial $110-million cost estimate.

In its current incarnation as a replacement for a hodgepodge of decades-old state computer systems, the new system will encompass a wide array of public-assistance programs, from health coverage to subsidized childcare, cash assistance and the food stamp program now known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

If all goes well here, the Raimondo administration anticipates the new eligibility system will make “it easier and more convenient for Rhode Islanders to apply for and track their benefits,” make it more likely the state will be able to detect — and stop — waste and fraud, and save enough money to enable the state to recoup its entire UHIP investment “within the next two to three years.”


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70 lose jobs in reorganization at R.I. Department of Human Services

By Uncategorized

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — About 70 Rhode Island Department of Human Services employees received layoff notices Thursday as the agency reorganizes in anticipation of installing a new $350-million-plus technology system to verify eligibility for social service programs, officials said. The system replaces one that’s 30 years old; it goes live Sept. 13. The reorganization also marks a change in the way social-service eligibility is applied for and determined. Clients will be able to apply for and

Source: 70 lose jobs in reorganization at R.I. Department of Human Services

Who Receives Skilled Nursing Care and Where in Rhode Island?

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Skilled Nursing Care Demographics in Rhode Island

Nearly 8,000 people reside in Rhode Island’s 84 nursing homes and skilled nursing care facilities at any single point in time.

They are mostly independent facilities (60.7%), although a large minority belong to a multi-facility organization (39.3%). Nearly eight in 10 (78.6%) RI nursing homes are for-profit.

Residents are predominantly female (72.1%) and non-Hispanic white (93.4%).

More than half (55.5%) are aged 75 or older.

In 2012, RI nursing home costs averaged $8,517 per month for a shared room and $9,277 per month for a private room. Source: Rhode Island Journal of Medicine: The Nuts and Bolts of Long-Term Care in Rhode Island: Demographics, Services and Costs (March 2015)


Rhode Island has a program called SSI Enhanced Assisted Living Program that provides up to approximately $1,200 / month to be put toward the cost of assisted living. However, this is not a Medicaid program. RI does have a Medicaid program called RIte @ Home which offers 24/7 personal care in a residential environment but not in assisted living communities. Finally, the state’s Home and Community Care Medicaid Waiver also covers assisted living.


Nursing Home Demographics

Elderly Rhode Island residents can receive a variety of care services and support through the Home and Community Care Program. This program is intended as an alternative to nursing homes.  The services are provided to individuals living at home or “in the community”. By the rules of the program, “in the community” includes assisted living residences. The benefits of the program are designed to support individuals at home. This program provides adult day care, in-home care, meal delivery services and medical alert services.

This program is under the jurisdiction of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs and is funded through a combination of state and federal monies.

Want to learn more about how nursing home skilled nursing and the Waiver Program may impact you and your family? Contact our office for a free consultation.

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