Have Jordan Stroman continue with her existing skilled nursing care after she turns twenty-one, so that she can live independently and complete her college degree.
Jordan currently has Medicaid approved and supplied skilled nursing care 6 days and 7 nights a week. Her mom comes over on Sundays to care for her. By having this nursing care, Jordan’s complex medical needs have been met and she has used this nursing assistance to attend college. Her family home is 70 miles away in Indian Harbour Beach, so she lives on campus in a dorm room and her nurses come there to assist her. Jordan is currently completing her Junior Year at UCF and pursuing a major in digital media.
Unfortunately, Jordan has just been informed that when she turns 21, on June 25th, her nursing care will be decreased to 16 hours per day. Jordan’s basic need for nursing assistance has not diminished. The only difference is that she is turning 21 years of age. Jordan will have no choice but to drop out of college and return home. And even at home her care cannot be maintained safely. Both of Jordan’s parents work full-time and to try to continue to meet Jordan’s complex needs, supplementing 8 hours of care per day, would be financially impossible and physically unsustainable.
We propose to Florida Medicaid that they maintain Jordan’s skilled nursing care services at the level that they approved for her prior to her turning 21.
Have Florida Medicaid and their Aged/Disabled Adult Waiver Aging Out program, maintain medical services, specifically skilled nursing care, to disabled young adults when they turn 21 years of age.
Currently, disabled young adults enrolled in Medicaid receive sufficient medical services, including skilled nursing care, until their twenty-first birthday. If deemed medically necessary, at the age of 21 the young adults are then transitioned into the Florida Medicaid “Aging Out Program” which was created to continue the services which they require.
The objective of this ‘Aging Out Program’ “is intended to ensure the smooth, uninterrupted provision of services necessary for the recipient to maintain the highest practical level of physical, emotional, and psychosocial well being while remaining in the home and community.” Unfortunately, in reality this transition is not always “smooth” or “uninterrupted”!
Most disabled young adults are totally reliant on a certain amount of assistance from skilled nurses throughout the day and/or night so as to live safely and comfortably. Prior to the age of 21, Medicaid has evaluated these recipients, approved nursing care services appropriate to each recipients needs, paid for these services and have detailed documentation supporting why this help was needed. Once the recipient reaches their twenty-first birthday, they are moved into another Medicaid program called the ‘Aging Out Program’ where these skilled nursing care services are drastically reduced. The recipient’s basic need for nursing care has not diminished. The only difference is that the recipient is now aged 21.
Currently this ‘Aging Out Program’ is not living up to its objective. If the program was truly created for a smooth and uninterrupted transition, then any skilled nursing care services should be allowed to continue as previously approved!
We would like to insist that Medicaid truly follow their own written objective for the Aged/Disabled Adult Waiver Aging Out program! It needs to truly offer “uninterrupted services” with the continuation of any skilled nursing care services provided and approved prior to the recipients twenty-first birthday!