Florida forgoes money for community care

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A legislative commission in Florida has voted against accepting federal funds that would help move patients from nursing homes to community care, The Palm Beach Post reported.

The federal grant could have provided the state with $35.7 million over the next five years, but lawmakers said it duplicated state efforts and could leave them with the tab when the grant expired.

House Health and Human Service budget chief Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill, said the state was doing fine with getting nursing home patients out of costly facilities and back home or with relatives, when appropriate, the paper reported. In the past two years, 1,900 patients were moved to community services.

“It's unnecessary, duplicative, and when you couple that with an estimated $6 million in administrative costs for the program…I would argue that it's always dangerous to accept federal money,” Schenck told the Post. Florida is one of 13 states eligible for the federal government's demonstration grant.