The State of Florida Medicaid is a program based on financial and medical requirements. An important part of the Medicaid application process is a program called CARES. CARES is a Florida program that issues an evaluation to meet the medical requirements required for Medicaid. CARES, which stands for Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Service, pre-screens nursing home clients who have applied for Medicaid. Once an application has been received, the nursing home is informed that the applicant has a Medicaid application pending. The nursing home then contacts CARES to have a representative medically assess the client. The nurse or physician comes out to see the client and do an assessment to determine the level of care that is needed. The nurse or physician will give a recommendation of the most appropriate placement for the patient. The CARES Program is mandated by Federal Law. CARES also oversees the evaluations for clients who are seeking at home care and Medicaid Waivers. If someone is paying private pay and a nursing home suspects that the client has a mental illness or any type of intellectual disability, an assessment is required by CARES. Services provided by Cares include:

  • Assessment for medical eligibility for the Medicaid Institutional Care Program (ICP)
  • Assessment for medical eligibility for Medicaid waivers that provide community-based services
  • Assessment for Medical assessment for all mentally ill individuals requesting ICP
  • Assessment for Medical assessment for individuals with intellectual disabilities requesting ICP services

There are eighteen CARES filed offices located throughout the State of Florida. The program is staffed with physicians, registered nurses and assessors, administrative support staff, office supervisors, and regional program supervisors. CARES is a great program that assists the Florida elderly with many different home and community-based programs and services.