Bluegrass Area Development District will resume oversight of aging and independent living service contracts for a 17-county region on July 1, under a settlement agreement with the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
As part of that agreement, Bluegrass will repay the state $187,461 for disallowed costs from 2011 to 2013. The costs include one-time bonuses paid to some employees. At the time those bonuses were paid, there were waiting lists for senior and aging services, state officials have said. The agreement says Bluegrass will repay roughly half of the $187,000 in cash. The remaining amount will be repaid through in-kind services, such as staff time.
The state yanked Bluegrass’s aging and independent living contracts last June. That move was prompted in part because the state Education and Workforce Cabinet terminated its workforce development contracts with Bluegrass because of concerns about the management and oversight of federal workforce dollars.
The state contracted directly with service providers for senior meal services, caregiver support, adult day care, home care and other services after the state terminated its contract with Bluegrass.
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After July 1, Bluegrass will oversee almost all the services it had previously overseen, with the exception of case management, according to the agreement, which states that Bluegrass will contract with another provider for those services.
Bluegrass has been the area agency on aging for the region that includes Fayette County for more than 40 years. The more than $6 million in aging and independent living contracts cover more than 5,500 people.
Bluegrass will have to hire a state-approved monitor for one year and an independent accountant, the agreement said. Bluegrass also must get state approval for any overnight travel charged to state aging grants. It can’t use aging money to pay for meals or expenses for Bluegrass board meetings. The board also must receive training on its responsibilities within 60 days of the agreement.
Doug Hogan, a spokesman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which oversees aging and independent living, said people who receive aging and independent living services should see no disruption in services come July 1.
Hogan said the settlement agreement allows for the continuation of services for seniors and more oversight of taxpayer dollars.
“This agreement, for the first time, places a Cabinet for Health and Family Services employee on site to monitor (Bluegrass) as well as a CPA to monitor expenditures and hold the ADD accountable to maximize service to seniors,” Hogan said. “By agreeing to these terms, we feel Bluegrass is committed to continued resolution of the issues related to the aging programs.”
Meanwhile, Bluegrass is appealing the state workforce cabinet’s decision to terminate its workforce development contracts. An administrative hearing on that appeal was scheduled for this week but was postponed.
Bluegrass officials did not respond to an email or phone request for comment.