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REAL Services to lay off 65 workers amid changes to state's Medicaid reimbursement system

REAL Services logo
Photo provided, REAL Services
REAL Services logo

Changes in how Indiana administers home care services for elderly and disabled people are resulting in layoffs to local nonprofit REAL Services.

REAL Services announced this week it will lay off 65 employees who coordinate care for elderly Medicaid patients.

REAL Services is one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging and has managed cases for patients on the state’s Aged and Disabled Waiver in five northern Indiana counties. That waiver lets senior or disabled citizens get care at home instead of having to live in a nursing home.

REAL Services has been reimbursed through Indiana’s Family & Social Services Administration for managing that waiver program. But that’s changing this year as FSSA looks to cut costs after the agency realized this year it had a shortfall of $1 billion.

Starting this year, the Aged and Disabled Waiver program will be run by three for-profit insurance companies. In a statement, REAL Services said it attempted to reach a contract with the new providers, but realized the reimbursement rate would be almost half as much as previous years.

The nonprofit said the layoffs will go into effect in July. The patients affected will not lose coverage, though they will have to sign up for the new Pathways for Aging system. REAL Services says it will continue to run its other programs that range from meal delivery and transportation to Alzheimer's and Dementia services.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.