Kinder critical of in-home health care assessments

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo
. -- Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is criticizing Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration for its response to a glut in the number of applicants for in-home health care services for the elderly and disabled.

The state took over assessments in September from SynCare, a private health care contractor hired by the state to oversee the process of evaluating physically disabled and elderly Missourians applying for in-home care.

The state ended its contract with SynCare after a backlog of more than 9,300 patents came to light during a House budget committee hearing. The state Department of Health and Senior Services stepped in to take over the program, hiring more than 90 part-time workers to try and clear the back log. But Kinder said the bottleneck persists.

“Patients – many of them with critical needs – are waiting months for an assessment that Missouri law says must be given within two weeks from when it’s requested,” Kinder said. “This isn’t supposed to happen. It can’t be allowed to continue”.

In a series of news conferences around the state, Kinder called on Nixon and his administration to go back to the previous system in which health care providers perform the assessments until the backlog is addressed.

Kinder said the problem is costing the state at least the $8 million DHSS is spending trying to handle the backlog on their own.

Kinder said Nixon needs to work with the legislature and health care providers to come up with a long-term solution.