Alberta Health Services says it has reinstated funding while a review is underway for a Ponoka-area family that had home care support for their son slashed by 50 per cent.
Alberta Health Services has re-instated the original funding for the Murphy family while we review their assessment and work with them through the appeals process.
— AHS Central Zone (@AHS_CentralZone) April 9, 2019
Earlier this month, Misty Murphy told the Advocate that funding cuts were made to her son’s therapeutic exercise, as well as for feeding and transferring him; for example, in and out of bed.
Cobyn Hanson-Murphy, 19, is a quadriplegic who receives home care through the self-managed care funding program, which allows families to hire a private caregiver to provide assistance at home.
This week, AHS said staff are working with the family.
“We are in ongoing contact with the family and we have also reached out to other clients and their families who experienced changes to their funding this year to discuss their concerns,” said AHS in a statement.
“We recognize the importance of self-managed care funding and what it means to clients and their families. We also recognize that we can improve our processes and communications for families when there may be changes to their self-managed care funding.
“We apologize for how changes in funding were communicated and AHS will learn from this experience.”
Murphy said funding has not yet been restored, but she planned on contacting AHS on Tuesday.
“I haven’t talked to (AHS) personally, so I haven’t heard what they have to say about how they’re going to work with us. But I know we don’t have the money in the account yet,” Murphy said.
She said a meeting for the appeal was set for Thursday.
She suspected outside pressure from media, social media and other self-managed care funding clients convinced AHS to take another look at their procedures.
“I’m hoping people will be more aware of the program and how important the program is. It really does need to be client-centred. That’s not the impression I was getting when we were dealing with these cuts,” Murphy said.
AHS said self-managed care funds are intended to supplement and not replace care provided by family. Clients are assessed annually to align funding for their unmet care needs.
“We are committed to supporting clients and families through a reassessment, or bringing forward an appeal should they wish, and will work with them to transition smoothly and respectfully to different funding levels based on individual client needs,” said AHS.