Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

HHS Urges Expansion of Non-Nursing Home Care for Disabled. (Recent Health Care Development)

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

HHS Urges Expansion of Non-Nursing Home Care for Disabled. (Recent Health Care Development)

Article excerpt

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson recently urged U.S. governors to make continued efforts to overcome the institutional bias in Medicaid Programs by providing benefits outside of nursing homes to Americans with disabilities. Secretary Thompson noted that States already have many affordable community-based options for serving people with disabilities, and he pointed to a new Web site identifying promising practices.

"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. …

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