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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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State to screen 14000 on waiting list for developmental help

State to screen 14000 on waiting list for developmental help

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Health says it has begun screening more than 13,000 people on the waiting list for home- and community-based services for the developmentally disabled.

A news release says the screenings are expected to continue through May 30.

The visits are expected to take about two hours.

People who turn down the screening will be considered to have all needs met.

The "New Opportunities Waiver" program is aimed at helping people stay out of nursing homes or other institutions.

It's helping more than 9,500 people. Department spokesman Bob Johannessen says the average wait for such help is 10 to 12 years.

It's funded through Medicaid, using state and federal money.

Officials say the screening will let professionals better understand each person's needs and make referrals to other available services. They say accepting other services won't change a person's status.

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