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CCAAA reviews proposed budget
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
The Clearfield Area Agency on Aging board of directors learned yesterday that the proposed budget was finally released on Feb. 5.
In her report to the board, Chief Executive Officer Kathie Gillespie said the proposal is a departure from the previous two plans; new program supports are being offered as opposed to cuts. Some of the proposals depend on negotiations with the legislature, especially in regards to privatizing the lottery and state liquor stores as well as changes to employee benefits and pensions.
In regards to aging and public welfare, there has been a 2.5 percent increase for the department of aging with no change for pre admission assessment, caregiver, PACE/PACENET or the Alzheimer Grant. Some areas in the Department of Public Welfare saw increases, especially in long-term care, long term managed care, services to persons with disabilities, attendant care and adult protective services. The state Department of Transportation and department of revenue also saw increases for programs that affect the elderly, including property tax and rent rebate and shared ride and flat funded free transit.
If the state is successful in privatizing the lottery, PennCare will increase by $27 million with money going to address the waiting list, the cost of living increase and for attendant care waivers that "age in." There will also be grants for senior centers for modernization of facilities and programs. Home and community based services (the aging waiver) would see a $21 million increase.
Gillespie also informed the board that there was an increase in rates for service coordination for the aging waiver program with a net result of $9,000 for CCAAA. She said this is part of the collaborative process with the departments of aging and public welfare.
In local matters, Gillespie said CCAAA was approached with an offer to take over protective services for adults ages 18-59. She said DPW is generally charged with this service on a state level, but that can be and inefficient process. CCAAA already receives the reports for these individuals through InfoLINK and counseling takes place at that time, but as for actually stepping in and providing services, CCAAA has only done so a few times on a case-by-case basis. Gillespie said they don't have the resources right now to meet the need but is looking at options for the future.
She also reported that three staff members have been approved as care managers and will take the exam in April. Five are looking to be certified in service coordination. She said CCAAA wants to be recognized as the experts in elder care, noting more and more for-profit service coordinators are appearing in the state. "We're trying to position ourselves to be more marketable in this area," Gillespie said.
In other news, a fundraiser for the auxiliary is underway with lottery calendars for the month of April. The calendars are $20 each and there are seven ways to win. The calendars will be available until March 31.
Plans are still in the works to move the Clearfield Center for Active Living to Second Street.
The next regular meeting will be March 26 at noon at the CCAAA offices on Front Street.
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