Massachusetts makes move toward community-based care model

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The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a measure that would allow the state's elderly to use Medicaid money for home care instead of nursing home care.

If the measure is approved, the state would be following in the footsteps of Oregon and Vermont, which have begun the shift toward more community-based long-term care. Oregon spends 68% of its long-term care money on home- and community-based care. Vermont spends 59%. Massachusetts currently spends 47% oflong-term care funds on nursing homes and 43% on home and community services.
 
But the proposal is running into some strong opposition from the state's nursing home providers, who could see tens of millions of Medicaid dollars move toward home care or other forms of community-based care such as assisted living. Medicaid currently pays for about 75% of the state's 50,000 nursing home residents.