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Utah Activists Protest Nursing Home Stay Requirement

by Dave Reynolds (subscribe)

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH--Community advocates with Utah's Disabled Rights Action Committee and ADAPT Utah gathered outside the state's Health Department Monday to protest a rule that forces Medicaid recipients to stay in a nursing home for 90 days before they can receive services in their own homes.

The protesters were also drawing attention to the fact that the state has not taken advantage of the federal government's "Money Follows the Person" initiative, which would allow people in nursing homes to take their Medicaid funding with them to pay for in-home supports.

"There isn't anybody . . . who wants to go to a nursing home," said DRAC organizer Barbara Toomer.

The protest was a follow-up to another rally the groups held on August 16.

State Medicaid Director Michael Hales has said that the 90-day rule is in place to help people avoid the state's 4,000-person waiting list for services. Because Utah lawmakers have failed to authorize enough funds to eliminate the waiting list, some people could wait for more than a decade for services, the Salt Lake Tribune noted.

Protest sparked by in-home assistance rule (Deseret News)
Disabled Rights Group Protests Nursing Home Requirements (KCPW)
Group protests nursing-home stay (Salt Lake Tribune)

Copyright 2006 Inonit Publishing
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