Washington state cuts on Medicaid affect adult day care for frail elderly

BELLINGHAM — St. Joseph Hospital has scaled back its adult day health services for frail elderly and disabled adults and revamped its program to contend with a $130,000 annual cut in state Medicaid payments.

Statewide, legislators slashed funding for adult day health services by about 70 percent, or $20 million, in the 2009-11 budget, according to Erika Stanley, program manager for Adult Day Health Center in Bellingham.

As a result, people on Medicaid who live in adult-family homes or assisted-living situations no longer have access to the services. Locally, that means 25 of the people — or 20 percent — enrolled in adult day health services at the Bellingham center no longer can use them, Stanley said.

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