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Changes to Medicare cost Mid-Michigan woman, mental health millage aims for a fix

Her father shared she’s been turned away from the facility she attended daily for almost a decade.
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - (5/3/2021) - His daughter needs around-the-clock care and he used to have some help. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Now, a mid-Michigan father says the facility that helped him care for his daughter can’t help her anymore.

Worried about causing more issues, he did not want us to identify him or his family. But, the man said he had to share what they’re going through because he knows they’re not the only ones.

For almost a decade, he’s been taking his daughter to Cornerstone Wolcott in Davison Township for about five hours a day.

“She cannot communicate, she’s nonverbal. She still wears diapers. She -- you have to help her to feed and after that you change her; but after that, she kind of pretty much stood over there by the window and looked outside,” he explained.

The woman’s Father shared even though his daughter can’t interact well with the other people at the facility, she enjoyed being around them.

Cornerstone is run by the Michigan Community Services, Incorporated. The non-profit helps those with disabilities in the Genesee County community.

Cornerstone’s doors closed during COVID-19, which the woman’s Father expected.

But, he explained when he wasn’t notified they re-opened, he showed up to find out when he could bring her back.

And he said this was their response: “‘No, no, she’s not eligible to be here anymore’. What am I gonna do? They shrugged their shoulders, they said ‘I don’t know, it’s your problem.””

A spokesperson from MCIS told ABC12 as a result of the pandemic, they lost funding and staff members. But, she explained Cornerstone is working its way back to the services they provided prior to the pandemic.

GHS, who funds them, said changes to Medicaid are also playing a role.

“It’s important to know that programs, such as day programs are one of the programs that have been impacted by changes in Medicare requirements. So when we, when we look at all the services people used to receive, they now need to look a little differently. And so they may not receive the same kind of services in the same way they did before,” explained GHS’s Katie Baxter.

Unable to comment directly on this family’s situation, she said if you’ve been impacted by that change, the GHS millage renewal on the May 4th ballot will help fund services for you. If passed, it’ll increase their flexible spending they can provide to vulnerable individuals.

The GHS millage renewal on Tuesday’s ballot is expected to generate $9.4 million dollars over ten years.

Flexible spending for vulnerable populations is one of 7 focus areas the money is expected to go towards.

A large portion will also fund crisis intervention training for police in Genesee County.

Click here for a detailed break-down of the GHS millage renewal.

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