At Silver Angels, we provide individuals with a home-based choice to meet their long-term care needs. TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, had the vision to create the CHOICES program more than a decade ago to support Tennessee seniors and individuals with disabilities who want and deserve to age in their homes instead of moving into a nursing home.
But now, rising administrative costs, staffing shortages, and low reimbursement rates are combining to drive CHOICES non-medical home care providers away from the program — and the health and well-being of those who depend on these services the most are being threatened. Hundreds of Tennesseans in need of these services are already being denied services due to these constraints.
While we applaud our lawmakers for creating this option for Tennesseans 11 years ago, the state has not increased the reimbursement rate for non-medical home care providers since the program began.
Every client we see is different. While the core of what we do stays the same, each client has a different set of needs that we must meet during our time with them. We have clients that only require housekeeping support and we have some that have extensive needs like bathing, dressing, eating and toileting. We play an important role to help people stay in their homes and age in place.
Governor Lee and members of the Tennessee Legislature need to know that non-medical home care providers deserve adequate reimbursement for their services and Tennessee’s seniors and individuals with disabilities deserve choices on where they age.
Let’s work together to support the additional funding needed to save and sustain Tennessee’s CHOICES program to allow these members of our community to stay in their homes. To help us in this fight please reach out to Governor Lee and your Legislators today to help save this program!
Lori Snow and Jennie Hornsby
Snow is director of marketing and business partnerships and Hornsby is director of legislation services for Silver Angels of Tennessee.