Craig’s elderly at risk due to difficulties with Moffat County Social Services
Supporters, staff and residents of Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehabilitation filledSandrock Ridge Care & Rehabilitation filled the county chambers on Tuesday morning to address the commissioners about financial concerns. the county chambers on Tuesday morning to address the commissioners about financial concerns.
Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehabilitation filled the county chambers on Tuesday morning to address the commissioners about financial concerns.
The facility is the county’s only skilled nursing facility and serves over 50 seniors while providing up to 70 jobs and bringing over $3.6 million in state and federal funding into the county, said Mitch Friedman, director of the company that runs Sandrock.
Primary funding for Sandrock comes from Medicaid funds partially administered by the Moffat County Department of Social Services.
“Sandrock relies on the department to efficiently, objectively and timely process Medicaid applications from the residents,” Friedman said.
But, he said, in the past year this has not consistently occurred — resulting in a backlog of claims and “erroneous decisions.” The backlog has disrupted the lives of residents and made it difficult to provide services.
“If the current trend persists I feel it will have detrimental consequences on the facility,” he said.
In 2003, the facility closed and up to 40 elderly residents were forced to seek care out of the county, requiring family members to drive hours to visit their loved ones, Friedman said.
“I don’t want to see that happen again,” he said.
Sandrock Facility Administrator Gina Andujo said the delay in Medicaid reimbursement is putting Sandrock in financial jeopardy.
“I feel that we should be working together to help the residents of Moffat County, and I feel like we’re being fought against by the social service department,” she said.
To remedy the situation, Friedman asked the Board of County Commissioners to step in.
“We are asking the county commissioners to assist the department by providing resources and oversight so they can perform their function properly, efficiently and objectively,” Friedman said.
Several risk factors, including death of residents, were cited if the facility were to go away.
Colorado Disability Law’s Ombudsman for the region Beth Luzmoor said early demise is a real concern when relocating residents from facilities like Sandrock.
“They find between 15 and 30 percent of the people pass away almost immediately,” she said. “If this facility isn’t able to remain here, we are sentencing some of these people to an early demise.”
Commissioner Chuck Grobe said the board is unable to discuss any specific cases but it will look at the difficulties and work to have them resolved.
“That’s about all we can say at this point,” he said.
Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.
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