They aren't spending the money they are supposed to. An audit of the Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs showed that 12 million dollars hadn't been spent while some seniors badly in need of medicaid waited two years. Don't you just love Florida? No its endemic of any govt. work. Government equals inefficency at best and monumental clusterfucks at worst.
Nearly 33,000 Florida seniors who likely qualify for Medicaid assistance have languished on waiting lists, while the state built up millions in surpluses of unspent money.
That's according to an audit of the state Department of Elder Affairs released Monday by state Auditor General Bill Monroe.
"We recommend that the department perform timely reassessments to ensure that clients are prioritized at the appropriate level and receive adequate and timely services based on their condition," said auditor Sabrina Ballew in the report.
The audit found problems in particular with two programs designed to keep seniors out of nursing homes by helping them while they live at home or in assisted-living facilities.
The programs provide a range of services, such as bathing, cleaning houses and providing pest control. The programs also provide caretakers to give family members some free time to do grocery shopping or attend to their own needs.
More than 6,000 seniors were backlogged in those two programs alone as of April, while budget surpluses topped $12.8 million. At least 64 of the seniors most in need of immediate services had been waiting more than two years, the audit disclosed.
Elder Affairs Secretary Carole Green, in an Oct. 10 letter to Monroe, said the department has made great strides since she took over in March. One of the problems, she said, was that the allocation of money was based on overall population for each of the state's 11 regions, rather than on the number of clients and potential clients.
"The department has taken aggressive measures to improve the aging network's ability to manage the budgets and wait lists," Green said.
The backlog included 130 people in the 14-county district covered by the Area Agency on Aging for North Florida, based in Tallahassee. Executive Director Janice Wise said her agency has no choice but to keep potential clients on waiting lists while it tries to get more money from the state.
The Tallahassee agency did receive more money in June, she said, and was able to start paring down the list. It takes time after the money arrives to determine seniors' eligibility, she said.
The agency doesn't process people on the waiting list too far in advance because it doesn't want to raise their hopes needlessly, she said.