Rhode Island’s largest health care network will close six group homes by the end of August. Lifespan affiliate, Gateway Healthcare, blames reimbursement rates for the closures.
The closures will affect dozens of adults with substance abuse or mental health diagnoses, and a little more than a dozen kids in state care. They range in age from five to 18. Gateway says Medicaid doesn’t pay enough to cover the cost of their care. Executive office of health and human services secretary Elizabeth Roberts acknowledges that’s a challenge.
“Unfortunately through our traditional fee-for-service Medicaid how we have managed our costs is often by paying than allows organizations to be sustainable,” said Roberts. “There’s no question that’s a problem. It’s one we want to address, and want to address most effectively through a well-coordinated system.”
Roberts said her office is working to find new placements for the residents who will lose their homes when the facilities close.
“I’m very disappointed that we’re losing these services through Gateway, but we’re already having encouraging conversations with others,” said Roberts. Gateway officials say they will try to find jobs for the 60 staff members who work in the homes.
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