Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

HHS Announces Efforts to Implement Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities. (Legislative Update)

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

HHS Announces Efforts to Implement Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities. (Legislative Update)

Article excerpt

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said June 19 that HHS is moving to improve access to community-based services for people with disabilities. Secretary Thompson made the announcement after President Bush signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to assist states with swiftly implementing the Olmstead Supreme Court decision. Under the Executive Order, Secretary Thompson will lead the federal government's coordinated efforts to work with states to fully implement the decision.

The announcement comes a week after HHS sponsored a conference in Washington, DC, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP, to highlight pilot programs for consumer-directed care. The programs provide Medicaid funds directly to people with disabilities and those who are elderly to enable them to choose and control their own personal assistance services in their own homes.

As part of its activities to implement Olmstead, HHS will provide $70 million in "Systems Change" grants to help states improve their community-based services. …

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