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WASTE WATCH UPDATE: Ohio Medicaid Money Misspent

NEWARK, Ohio (Brooks Jarosz) A man on Medicaid was so disgusted for being forced to stay months at a nursing home, that he decided to go against doctors orders.

Dale Kennison, 52, of Newark, spent nearly six months in a nursing home after having major surgery. He expected to spend five days recovering, but his fee-for-service Medicaid made him stay way longer than he would have liked all because of a piece of medical equipment.

"I just felt like I was going to be kept there longer and longer, Dale Kennison said. I didn't have it in me anymore to stay -- not when I knew I could be at home.

Kennison has been able to eat, bathe and care for himself since his operation. He says he just wanted to be at home with his dog and save taxpayers money.

The problem is Medicaid will not cover the cost of a wound vac at home. ABC 6 Investigators found Kennison would have to pay $20 a day out of pocket. However, Medicaid will pay on average at least $200 a day for him to be in a nursing home thats your tax dollars.

"It's definitely an example of the failures in the system whether he slipped thru the cracks or more appropriately he's probably just an illustration of what's broken in the system, Kerstin Sjoberg-Witt with Disability Right Ohio said. More people are out there that we don't even know about."

Disability Rights Ohio is now working with Kennison and pushing to fix what it calls an inflexible Ohio Medicaid system. Kennison says hes just happy to be home.

"I knew if I got back home I would be more self-sufficient and be back in my environment and have my baby, Kennison said.

Medicaid originally did not want to comment on this story. It has since explained that wound vacs are not covered under a fee for service plan but would be covered under a managed care plan.
 
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