Study shows nursing homes beginning to lose funding dominance to HCBS

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HHS unveils new national quality improvement strategy
HHS unveils new national quality improvement strategy
A handful of states are now spending more of their Medicaid funding on home- and community-based services than on nursing home care, according to a new report from AARP. The study also found that nursing home occupancy rates have remained static over the last five years, while HCBS funding has soared.

The number of people receiving Medicaid HCBS funds is now almost equal to the number of individuals served by nursing homes, report authors note. The nursing home population has held steady in recent years (at approximately 1.44 million people), while the number of HCBS beneficiaries has jumped by nearly 33% to 1.4 million.

The amount Medicaid spends on a single nursing home resident can fund up to three HCBS beneficiaries, the report's authors say. New Mexico, Oregon, Alaska, Washington and California all currently spend more Medicaid money on HCBS than on nursing homes. Nationally, however, states still spend an average of just 27% of their Medicaid funds on HCBS.

The report, "Across the States 2009, Profiles of Long-Term Care and Independent Living," was released by the AARP Public Policy Institute. It is available at http://www.aarp.org/research/longtermcare/trends/d19105_2008_ats.html.