More than 75 Rhode Islanders packed a small meeting room at the Peacedale Public Library Monday, to share their suggestions for improving Medicaid while cutting costs. It was one in a series of town hall meetings held by the task force charged with finding $90 million dollars in savings in the program. Nurse Patricia Mackie told organizers how meeting a client’s basic needs first can help prevent expensive hospital stays.
“Cash to pay for prescriptions, clothing, furniture from the furniture bank, finding him an apartment.”
Mackie said she came to draw attention to the efforts of community health workers like herself; efforts she says can save the state money.
“We want to make sure the power brokers really understand what we do on a daily basis. It’s concerning to us that on this task force there was one RN,” said Mackie.
Mackie and several other attendees said they were concerned the state would cut case management services like these for the most vulnerable Medicaid recipients. Several attendees expressed their hope the state would invest in other home health care services to help the elderly stay in their homes longer. Some offered ideas for saving the state money by promoting preventative care.
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