CMS official, lawmakers reiterate push to minimize institutional long-term care

Share this content:

President Bush's fiscal 2005 budget proposals intend to continue a push toward home- and community-based long-term care, and away from institutional settings, an official for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services the Senate Finance Committee.

The Bush proposal would greatly increase funding for seniors and disabled people to receive some services in community or home settings. The budget calls for $428 million annually for the next five years.

Administration proposals would supply more access and choices for Medicaid beneficiaries, according to testimony from Dennis G. Smith, director of CMS's Center for Medicaid and State Operations

In a related note, Sen. Tom Harkin (R-Iowa) pressed the Finance Committee to act on two bills he has introduced that are aimed at pushing Medicaid funding goes toward community-based care. One proposal would change the Medicaid statute to allow states to provide home- and community-based services without having to apply for a waiver.

Harkin also has unveiled the "Money Follows the Person" bill, which would provide 100% federal funding for the first year of community-based services when beneficiaries move out of institutions.