Due to state mandates and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District’s Area Agency on Aging had to figure out how to transition services normally provided in congregate meal sites to the senior’s homes. Decisions had to be made on how to transport clients to the grocery stores and medical appointments while adhering to the social distancing mandate. These changes presented a host of challenges from the lack of personnel to logistical concerns. The Area Agency on Aging staff along with the local service providers were able to come together to address transportation and delivery of meals typically served at the congregate meal sites. Several meal providers offered the Grab and Go option. Seniors were added to the Home Delivered Meals Program or local service providers delivered meals door to door. A special thanks to our dedicated staff and local service providers, together we adapted, identified solutions, and continued to serve our most vulnerable population. For more information on Aging Programs, contact our office at 601-981-1516.
COVID-19 has presented many problems and challenges for area employers and businesses, and certainly for our citizens. Food service businesses have laid off workers and are only able to provide take-out service. Many other businesses have closed or drastically curtailed what they are able to do, not only to help their employees, but in terms of serving individuals in our communities who are suffering as well. Thousands of workers have lost their jobs and the number of individuals filing for unemployment benefits has skyrocketed. Mississippi is no different from other states in that we are not prepared for the magnitude of the pandemic.
The Central Mississippi Planning & Development District (CMPDD) serves as the administrative entity for the Southcentral MS Works (SMW) Workforce Development Area. The workforce area, one of four in the state, utilizes federal workforce funds to provide employment and training assistance to individuals and to employers. In an effort to help unemployed or laid off workers as well as area employers, SMW is providing assistance in the form of internship opportunities for workers to assist employers with humanitarian efforts, such as providing meals and other necessities during this time of crisis. The program allows workers to work up to 280 hours each, and wages will be paid at the rate of .00 per hour by a third party temporary staffing agency under contract with SMW. The workers will be covered by Workers’ Compensation during the internship period.
In addition, the State of Mississippi has applied for a U.S. Department of Labor National Emergency Grant. If approved, this grant will bring a large sum of workforce dollars into the workforce area to be used to help get individuals back to work and/or assist them with the cost of skills training. As the extent of the economic and job market implications of the COVID-19 pandemic emerge, it will be more important than ever for CMPDD and the workforce area to be equipped to respond to the needs of workers and employers. As workforce area innovators and administrators, CMPDD’s Workforce Division will adapt as necessary to meet the needs of our ever-changing workforce and whatever the new “normal” looks like.
The CMPDD Medicaid Waiver team has been working diligently on the Elderly and Disabled (E & D) Waiver Program. The E & D Waiver is a statewide program designed to offer assistance to qualified Medicaid beneficiaries who are 21 years of age or older. They must meet income qualifications by either having SSI Medicaid, or having a monthly income that is no more than 300% of the SSI Medicaid income limits. Applicants must be screened and assessed by a Case Management team, and approved by the Division of Medicaid. They must require assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, ambulation and/or transferring. For all clients that are approved for the Elderly and Disabled waiver program, the Case Management teams work to assure that all needs for services are addressed, regardless of payor source.
CMPDD has 23 full Case Management (CM) teams. Beginning February 3, 2020, we added the new project of an admissions/float team. The admissions team will conduct initial assessments and manage the clients up until approval by the Division of Medicaid (DOM). Once approved by the DOM, the client will be assigned to a permanent CM team.
During the months of January, February, and March 2020, CMPDD served an average of 2,250 Active clients per month. We served an average of 65 clients per month pending approval at DOM and an average of 35 clients per month pending physician signature.
CMPDD’s Elderly and Disabled (E&D) Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver program provides Case Management (CM) and Home Delivered Meal (HDM) services to Medicaid eligible elderly and/or disabled recipients who desire to remain in their home setting. The Registered Nurse and Licensed Social Worker work together as a team to coordinate all approved Waiver services and conduct monthly home visits to assure the approved services are meeting the clients’ needs.
For more information on Elderly & Disabled Waiver services, please contact Teresa Burrell-Shoto, RN, Case Management Director, at 601-855-5914 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the Division of Medicaid for information on how to become a Waiver provider.