HHS urges expansion of non-nursing home care for disabled. (Recent Health Care Development).
"The President's New Freedom Initiative builds on our partnership to assure Medicaid-eligible individuals with disabilities are served in the most appropriate setting according to their own needs and preferences," said Secretary Thompson in a letter to the governors. "We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to serve people who meet nursing facility levels of care in their own homes or other community residential settings without increasing costs."
A number of States have already developed and implemented programs that serve individuals in community settings rather than institutions. These include:
* Diversion programs to keep people in the community.
* Transition programs to move individuals from institutional settings to community placements.
* Program models in which the "money follows the person" to assure stability for beneficiaries living in the community.
HHS recently announced a new waiver template, "Independence Plus," designed to help States develop consumer-directed services. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also established a Web site to help States share "promising practices" of innovative programs that States have adopted to strengthen their community long-term support systems. These promising practices are targeted towards diverse populations and usually supported by a combination of funding mechanisms, such as the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Program, regular Medicaid State plan options, programs funded by other Federal agencies, and State and local resources. The Web site is www.cms.gov/ promisingpractices.
Under the President's New Freedom Initiative, many other steps have also been taken, including $120 million in Systems Change Grants to support State efforts to institute community-based approaches; the Ticket to Work Program, which provides for continued health insurance coverage for persons with disabilities; and the National Caregiver Support Programs aimed at helping families care for a loved one at home or in the community.
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|Title Annotation:||Department of Health and Human Services|
|Publication:||Health Care Financing Review|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2002|
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