Staffing Challenges Hinder Medicaid Service Delivery for Older and Disabled Adults

Both local and state government departments are suffering from recruitment and retention issues with no end in sight. 

A Baltimore Banner article describes the turmoil state agencies are experiencing with critical staffing shortages, in particular at the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). These difficulties are being felt at both the state and local government levels. In this instance, applicants for vital, in-home services through Medicaid are finding themselves with extended waits, no answers, and, eventually, conflicting and confusing information. From the author:

More than 11,600 older and disabled Marylanders with Medicaid have been waiting as long as a year for help at home. Some are being hospitalized, institutionalized or even dying in the interim.

According to the article, there are eight employees to process these types of applications for in-home care but with nine vacancies in the same division at MDH. While they are working through the backlog of applicants, the acting communications director asserted that efforts are being made to find both short and long-term solutions. With more vacancies than current employees for this role, the backlog is being managed in conjunction with an outside contractor to review applications for in-home care.

Both internal and external solutions appear to be under consideration. The current contract model is said to be a potential long-term option. Salary enhancements for internal positions are also approved and forthcoming, with annual increases between $3,000 and $5,000.

Read the full Baltimore Banner article.