KCUR News
2:03 am
Wed March 25, 2009

Missouri Department Prepares Funding Changes For Senior Services

Kansas City, MO – The Missouri Department of Health is hoping to change the way it hands out some twenty seven million dollars in funds for home and community-based services for seniors across the state. But some agencies are worried about the effect. KCUR's Elana Gordon reports.

The Missouri Department of Health says the way it divides funds among the state's ten area agencies on aging is flawed, and that it fails to provide adequate funds to places where seniors are most in need. The department recently unveiled a new formula to fix the problem and hopes to have it implemented by next year.

Jacqui Moore is with the Kansas City Region's Agency on Aging and says she's concerned about the change, especially since Kansas City would lose seven percent of its funding, or about $200,000.

MOORE: There is less emphasis on urban areas, urban issues - which is where a significant number of low income minority eldery are.

Moore says that's partly because low-income minorities are underrepresented in the census data that the formula's based on. Mat Reidhead is with the Department of Health and says urban areas would still benefit.

REIDHEAD: If action follows policy, there will be more services provided to low income residents in inner Kansas City - for the region as a whole, there will be some funding loss.

Reidhead also says the state's one solely urban district - St. Louis - would receive a thirty percent increase in funding. State health officials say they expect an overall boost in federal funding to offset any money that some regions might lose.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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