AARP’s advocacy focused on preserving funding for existing programs and services which benefit AARP members. The budget did not cut funding for senior centers or state adult day care, and only $200,000 was cut from the Home and Community Care Block Grant which provides services to keep older adults in their homes. The House and Senate had proposed significant reductions to all of these programs. Other programs experienced cuts.
Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty) – Cut $500,000. Provides respite care, support, education, and training to caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Community Care of NC – Reduction of $90 million in Community Care of NC, the Medicaid care management/medical home program. Achieved by improved coordination of Medicaid health care providers. If savings are not achieved, the NC Department of Health and Human Services is directed to take whatever actions are needed to reach these savings, including reducing provider reimbursement rates, or eliminating or reducing the level or duration of optional Medicaid services.
Optional Medicaid services for older and disabled adults include critical services like dental care, physical therapy, personal care services, and the community alternative program that allows persons who would qualify for nursing home care to stay in their homes with services. The budget has specific cuts to optional and mandatory services in Medicaid of $16.5 million in 2011-12 and $22 million in 2012-13. These services include optical, durable medical equipment, specialized therapies, home health, and dental.