Alaska Tightens Personal-Care Rules
The state is tightening rules for a program that provides personal care in the home for thousands of Alaskans who are elderly or have disabilities.
Changes adopted last week require caregivers to have prior approval from the state before delivering services. A doctor must certify the care is needed. Clients must undergo regular assessments by a state contractor to create a plan of care. Some services may be limited.
Regulators say they hope to save money and improve accountability in the state-funded program, which has gotten attention for soaring costs.
The changes are controversial and some who provide personal care say they worry frail and ill Alaskans will wait too long to get essential in-home help with basic needs such as eating, dressing and getting to the bathroom.
State officials say that's not the intent.