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Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab: We disagree with commissioners

To the editor:To the editor:

To the editor:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Moffat County Commissioners ad concerning the processing of Long Term Medicaid applications.

First, on Oct. 6, 2016, an administrative law judge (ALJ) issued an initial decision, not a final decision, in a case involving Sandrock Ridge Care & Rehab (the facility) and the Moffat County Department of Social Services (department) concerning the mishandling of a resident’s long term care Medicaid redetermination. The individual is a long-time resident of the facility and had been receiving Medicaid benefits for over 10 years, until the department stopped paying in September 2015. The resident then reapplied for benefits in January 2016 and the department failed or refused to issue a proper decision on the application until it was forced to do so by the judge.

The elderly resident was forced to engage in the litigation process as a result of inaction and mishandling of the long-term care Medicaid application by the department. This is costly for all parties including the taxpayers. Furthermore, the department’s practice has been to allow an applicant 30 days to correct the application where it is deemed ineligible. The applicant was not afforded the 30-day window to correct the application in this case.

Earlier this year, the department was sending its workload to Garfield County for processing as a result of the department’s incapabilities. To our knowledge, this is unprecedented and a reflection on how the department functions. Contrary to what the commissioners state in their Open Letter to the Community, it is our opinion the department is not implementing the rules objectively. Furthermore, when the facility brought this case to the attention of the county commissioners at the meeting held on Oct. 25, 2016, it was in anticipation of a fair investigation into the complaint. Rather, the commissioners quickly issued an opinion siding with the department in the Open Letter to the Community and lost this opportunity to improve the process.

The department’s actions have grave consequences on the community. They jeopardize the livelihood of the facility by causing it to care of residents without pay, and in this instance, for nearly a year. The department’s actions have caused sever anxiety on a frail, elderly county resident who, up until now, head been Medicaid eligible for over 10 years. This case is a needless waste of taxpayer resources that would be better served flowing into the community as much needed benefits, to which our residents are entitled.

Mitch FriedmanMitch Friedman

Mitch Friedman

Director of Operations for Sandrock RidgeDirector of Operations for Sandrock RidgeDirector of Operations for Sandrock Ridge


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