Specialized foster care agencies in Clark County will not have their Nevada Medicaid funding changed until at least September, state officials report.
That news comes as a relief from foster agency executives, who expected funding changes to come July 1 and force them to shut down soon after.
“Basically, we have a stay of the current policies and rates … which keeps our model financially sound,” said David Doyle, director of operations at the Eagle Quest foster care agency.
Medicaid officials will hold a workshop in Las Vegas on June 23 to discuss planned changes to the foster agencies’ funding models, Doyle said.
For now, Medicaid will continue to provide foster agencies $72.70 a day for each specialized child in their care. The county’s Department of Family Services, which also provides the agencies funding, is increasing its daily rate from $43.50 to $62 on July 1.
Agencies use the money to pay for specialized care programs for foster children with serious physical, mental or emotional issues.
Medicaid plans to change its portion of the funding from a flat rate to an amount that differs for each child. Foster agencies would apply for specific Medicaid-funded services based on each child’s needs.
Doyle said the workshop will focus on teaching foster agencies about what services they will be able to seek reimbursement.
Still, Doyle and other executives remain fearful funding could drop so much that they will be forced to close. The current combined rate of $115 a day per child has been the same since 2010.
“I still call it a looming crisis,” Doyle said. “Hopefully they’ll give us a look at some new services and not the same old stuff we already know that we can or can’t bill for.”
Karla Delgado, social services chief for Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services, said amendments to the Medicaid funding should be made official sometime in September or October.
Contact Michael Scott Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.