By Ashley Conroy - email
RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - In-home personal care might get a little easier for Medicaid recipients across the state.
Currently, 89-percent of funding from Medicaid goes to nursing home care, but with new legislation passed by Governor Haley Barbour, five million dollars from Medicaid will be re-distributed to home-based community care.
Mary Devine looked through some old photos Monday. She attributes the closeness of her family to her 99-year-old mother Mary Griffith.
"There's still things that she can do for me, my grandkids, my great grandkids, and we're available to each other," said Devine.
Griffith is sharp, likes to read, play music, and loves basketball, and despite her age, Devine said her mother is independent.
With the help of Medicaid, she receives personal in-home care two days a week.
"And a few years ago when they threatened to discontinue that, she was right down there meeting with officials to make sure that didn't happen," said Devine.
And with the new legislation passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor, Mississippi AARP State Director Sherry Davis-Garner said more elderly folks like Griffith, can receive in-home care.
"We're finding that a lot of people who are in nursing homes, they don't have to be there if they can get minimal services in their home," said Davis-Garner.
According to a 2009 MetLife market survey, it costs Medicaid 68-thousand dollars to keep a person in a nursing home compared to 18-thousand to provide in-home and community-based services.
"That's about a 40-thousand dollar tax savings to tax payers," said Davis-Garner.
Devine said that some might need nursing-home care, but for those who are as vibrant and youthful as her mother, she's excited that they can enjoy the same independence.
"She's still very motivated, self-motivated, and appreciative of her own life. She's had a good life a real good life," said Devine of her mother.
Three million dollars will go to assisted living and to elderly and disabled living, an one million dollars each will go to home delivered meals and independent living.
©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.