WILMINGTON — Under a pilot project proposed Wednesday, eligible seniors discharged from CMH or a nursing facility will get timely in-home services when discharged.
To speed up access to Elderly Services Program (ESP) in-home services after discharge, eligibility assessments would be done in the institutional settings before patients go home.
The proposal was presented to Clinton County commissioners by officials from the Council on Aging (COA) of Southwestern Ohio. The COA is contracted by Clinton County to administer the ESP program to county seniors.
The services available would include all current services offered locally through ESP. Those include homemaker, personal care, adult daycare services, home delivered meals, home medical equipment and more.
COA, for its part, would see that the services are set up to be delivered to patients within 24 to 72 hours following their discharge.
“We anticipate a lot of seniors will only need these services for a short period of time because they’re recovering from whatever condition led to their admission to the hospital. Others will need that help and support ongoing,” said Ken Wilson, COA vice president of program operations.
The services would be provided for a maximum of 60 days after discharge. The seniors would not be responsible for a co-payment during the 60-day period.
If services however are to continue beyond 60 days, the normal income verification and use of the co-payment sliding fee scale will apply.
COA wants to launch the pilot project on June 1. The nonprofit organization said it would submit a report to the county commissioners by the end of 2016, outlining the results and recommending whether the pilot should become ongoing or be ended.
If Clinton County commissioners authorize the pilot project, the contract between the county and COA would have to be amended. Commissioners did not take action Wednesday.
At the start of the COA officials’ Wednesday appointment, Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley asked Wilson and COA President Suzanne A. Burke whether they anticipated a commissioners’ vote and discussion on the COA topic.
After they said they expected that commissioners would at some point vote on the matter, Haley said, “Then I would recuse myself from that discussion.”
Haley told the News Journal afterward that he recused himself because his wife works for COA.
“You know, it’s not a conflict of interest for me, but I just take a very cautious approach, and since there’s going to be a vote, I just recused myself from that vote,” said Haley.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.
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