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Agency for Person with Disabilities to Eliminate Five Services

Tallahassee, FL – The agency serves about 25,000 people through a Medicaid waiver, with another 15,000 on a waiting list. But now, with a $100-million deficit, APD spokesperson Melanie Etters says that some people will soon lose some services through a legislative effort to reduce the deficit.

The five services that will be eliminated on December 1 are Chore, non-residential support services, home-maker services, massage therapy and IQ testing.

The Med waiver eliminates the co-pay for people who need services. The state picks up the cost. The problem is, that previously there were no caps on the number of times a person could use a service. And all services were deemed medically necessary, so the agency had to provide them. The result is the deficit.

We will expand definitions like in-home support. We would just have one person in the home and that person would help them in their home or help them make their meals so we wouldn't have multiple people in the same home at the same time.

It's a tough squeeze, and not something the agency volunteered to do. It was mandated by the legislature. Etters says the agency hopes that by reducing the number of services it provides through the med. Waiver, it can begin to offer help to the 15,000 people still on the waiting list. For WFSU-FM, I'm Lynn Hatter.