ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities Phoenix

a couple at assisted living facility phoenix

You may be curious about how to find right ALTCS Assisted facilities phoenix.

A year ago, you said, “I’m not ready yet!” or “I’m not ready to go to an assisted living facility or group care home.”

The problem is this,  people’s health change and sometimes change very quickly, ready or not!

Now, you find yourself in a rehab facility, and the doctor tells you that you can not live alone and you must move to an assisted living facility or assisted living group home.

Choosing a care home is often under a crisis; what are the steps?  

So ready or not, you must find a care home that will accept you as a resident. So you begin the journey and answer questions like:

  • Where to start looking for ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities?
  • Which ALTCS Assisted Living Facility is the best?
  • Where can you find ALTCS Assisted Living Facility recommendations?
  • Do you have to use the ALTCS Assisted Living Facility that the hospital recommended?
  • Do you have a choice?
  • What are you going to do now?

So, whether you are looking for ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities Phoenix, ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities Mesa, or ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities anywhere in the State of Arizona for you or a loved one. Finding the right care facility or group home can be a daunting task.

It is wise to seek professional help from a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist.

Placement Agents vs. A Certified Placement and Referral Specialist

The senior placement industry is unregulated. Therefore, it attracts unethical individuals and bad practices.

The National Placement & Referral Alliance is an organization that was started to establish better business practices.

A Certified Placement and Referral Specialist is not only a member of the NPRA but is certified by the National Placement & Referral Alliance.

Noteworthy, a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist is free to you; they are paid by the assisted living group home or community.

So why would you take this journey on your own if this is a no-cost service? Good questions, yet people do.

This may be because they are not paying the agent for the service. As mentioned, placement agents are paid by the community or group home. The provider is willing to pay them because they help fill their homes and communities. 

Finding a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist

ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities Phoenix for the Do-It-Yourselfers; Assisted Living VS. Nursing Facilities?

In most states, the difference between an assisted living and a nursing facility is an important distinction. This is because not all states’ Medicaid Long-Term Care Programs pay for assisted living. They only pay for nursing facilities.   

Keep in mind that all states can offer coverage for assisted living facilities as an alternative to a nursing home through the Medicaid waiver program or Home and Community Based System – HCBS, but not all do.

Each state can develop its HCBS program, so the Medicaid benefits or what is covered by Medicaid will vary by state.

For instance, a state under their waiver may choose to cover a specific condition like traumatic brain injury or Aids.

The state may decide to limit the number of people they allow under the waiver program. Florida is an example of that. They have a waiting list.

The benefits vary because the Medicaid Program is both a Federal and State funded program. States must offer the minimum Medicaid long-term care benefits; a state can provide additional benefits.

Rules can not be more restrictive, but they can be less stringent.

Example 1: California recently increased the Personal Needs Allowance or the Individual Property Reserve to $130,000 (most states, this is $2000.) and the Recourse Allowance for a couple to $195,000 (most states, it is $3000)

Example 2: Under Federal law, one car is exempt. Therefore, the state can’t say that it is only for a married couple, and a single person cannot have a car.

However, that doesn’t mean that a state will not try to implement a more stringent restriction than that of the Federal law. Knowing that the only way you can stop the state from doing this is to sue the state in Federal Court. And how can you do that without a legal fund, and the state knows this, so they apply a restriction knowing you will not fight it.

Read: ALTCS Services

Arizona Medicaid or ALTCS Waiver Program or HCBS

Arizona is a waiver state and under the Arizona Medicaid Waiver Program or HCBS,  Assisted Living Facilities and Group care homes, as well as in-home care, are paid for by the State of Arizona AHCCCS- ALTCS program

In addition, in Arizona, these services are also included:

  • adult daycare
  • case management
  • durable medical equipment
  • escorts to medical appointments
  • home adaptation services (ramps, bars, etc.)
  • home-delivered meals
  • homemaker services
  • home health aides
  • personal care
  • respite care

Contact a Certified Medicaid Planner for Free Medicaid Consultation!

But for those who think you can Do-It-Yourself, let’s go through the steps you should take. Again as mentioned, the services offered through a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist are free.

Step one: The search for an ALTCS Approved or ALTCS Certified Assisted Living Facilities and Group Homes

It seems simple enough to do a simple internet search “ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities Phoenix,” this is a typical key phrase that many searches for an ALTCS-approved facility.

But immediately, you will see a lot of clutter; the first ad that popped up doesn’t even accept ALTCS!

But how would you know that until you call the community, likely having to leave a message and then wait for a return call?

So you go to the next one, then the next one, and so on.

You can go to the Arizona Health and Human Services website and download a list.

The funny thing is that not all of the ALTCS-approved facilities are listed there due to different licensing guidelines.

So what is the alternative? A couple of sites provide complete and accurate listings of both Assisted Living Group Homes and Assisted Living Communities.

One such site is ALTCS.org.

There, you can search by zip code, City, or even a specific name or address of the ALTCS-approved facility.

So you’re done, right? You went to ALTCS.org or a site like it and found the perfect place.

Not so fast! You still need to find out if that facility is accepting new ALTCS-approved individuals and if your level of care needs match what they are willing and able to provide.

For instance, if you or your loved one is combative and has behavioral issues, they may not accept you or your loved one in their facility, or evict your loved one later, once they learn that they are a problem and do not want to handle them.  

Other bars from admittance to an ALTCS facility may include:

  • Level of medical needs. (diabetic or needs a catheter)
  • Weight (Someone needing two people to assist could be turned down)
  • The sex of the individual can even play a role.

Once again, here is where a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist can help. They are familiar with the various facilities and can help narrow the search to places that will accept your level of care needed.

Why don’t all communities and group homes accept ALTCS?

There are many reasons like:

  • Need in the specific geographic area.

ALTCS and the Program Managers may feel that there in not enough need in a particular zip code or surrounding zip codes to warrant additional providers.

Even if approved or certified by ALTCS, the assisted living provider must be approved by a Program Manager.

ALTCS is based on a managed care system, and they use HMOs to manage care. Called Program Managers.

Current Program Managers are:

Banner Health
Mercy Care
United Health Care

Just because an HMO manages the ALTCS program does not mean you must move your Medicare Supplement or Advantage Plan to that provider. You can keep whatever Plan you have. But you may find you have better coverage if you do. This is a conversation you should have with your Program Manager and Medicare Agent once approved by ALTCS.

  • Additional Paperwork and reporting.

An ALTCS-approved facility has additional reporting to the state to maintain its certification. This can discourage some providers from wanting to offer ALTCS as a payor source.

  • MONEY is the main reason an assisted living facility doesn’t accept ALTCS as a payor source.

    A care home or facility charges more to someone privately paying than what ALTCS pays them. So the facilities choose not to take ALTCS.

    Most facilities don’t realize that the family can pay the difference between what ALTCS pays and the normal private pay rate.

Now understand what I just said. The family can, I didn’t write that the person getting care can pay the difference. However, they can charge the person for a private room. 

This scenario may come about with a Veteran or Surviving Spouse of a Veteran on the Veteran’s Pension with Aid and Attendance benefits. Under ALTCS, the Personal Needs Allowance is currently 126.15, but the Veterans benefits are on top of that amount. All or part of that could be used to upgrade to a private room.

The way ALTCS calculates this is based on the way the VA reports the benefit to ALTCS. But the minimum is between $500 to $800 dollars.

So this can help make the facility or group care home more profitable. If you own a Group Home or manage or own an Assisted living community, call our office to discuss ‘Steve’s Plan”. We can help you better understand how you can offer ALTCS as a payor source and remain profitable too.

Which ALTCS Assisted Living Facility is the best?

As mentioned earlier, people who suddenly find themselves in need of care have had a catastrophic event that put them in hospital and rehab.

The rehab and hospital doctors have told you or your loved one that you cannot return home and must go to an assisted living or nursing home. So you do not have a lot of time to look around and choose the perfect place.

Plus, the nicer care facilities are often full and have a waiting list, so you may have to go somewhere that is not to your liking for a short period of time

But once you move, you can begin to look for a nicer place that is more comfortable, fits your care needs better, and is closer to family members. 

A Certified Medicaid Planner™, can help preserve some assets that will help you have more choices in the future too.

Summary:

  • Where to start looking for ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities?

Go to a website like ALTCS.org there you will find all the approved or certified ALTCS Assisted Living Facilities in Phoenix and surrounding communities.

  • Which ALTCS Assisted Living Facility is the best?

  • This is based on many factors, your care needs and your personal preferences. A Certified Placement and Referral Specialist can help assess your personal situation.

  • Where can you find ALTCS Assisted Living Facility recommendations?

Again see ALTCS.org

  • Do you have to use the ALTCS Assisted Living Facility that the hospital recommended?

No! You are free to choose where you want to go. And beware the hospital staff member may be acting as a non-certified placement agent.

  • Do you have a choice?

Yes, the assisted living provider only needs to be approved by ALTCS and have a contract with a Program Manager, which again is:

-Banner Health
-Mercy Care
-United Health Care

  • What are you going to do now?

As mentioned, the senior placement industry is unregulated therefore, it attracts unethical individuals and practices. Best to seek the help of a Certified Placement and Referral Specialist to help you find the perfect place.

A Certified Medicaid Planner to help you qualify for Arizona Medicaid – ALTCS.

And if your income exceeds the cap, you do not need to have an Income Only Trust, a.k.a Miller Trust, prepared by an attorney. A “Certified Legal Document Preparer” can prepare the document at a much lower cost.

Thanks for reading our article about altcs approved assisted living facilities phoenix.

You can call our office at 480-967-8477, and we can refer you to a Certified professional near you.

Contact a Certified Medicaid Planner for Free Medicaid Consultation!

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