Government releases funding to help older adults navigate long-term care

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Expert panel recommends functional status quality measures for skilled nursing facilities
Expert panel recommends functional status quality measures for skilled nursing facilities

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday said $68 million in grant money is available to help seniors, the disabled and their caregivers better understand options for long-term care.

The funding, which is a result of the healthcare reform law, is designed to aid families in deciphering Medicare and Medicaid benefits. It also should assist patients with the transition between skilled nursing care and home care, according to an HHS release. Among the disbursements: Twenty-four states will receive grants designed to strengthen the role of Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ARDCs) in the Money Follows the Person program, which helps with the transition between care settings. All 50 states, along with 125 tribal organizations, will receive funding to help educate beneficiaries on the benefits for which they are eligible.

“Our health care system can offer many options to meeting those needs from traditional nursing home care to home and community-based services,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Don Berwick in a statement. “These grants will help families make informed decisions and make sure patients have more control over their own care.”

For more information on the dispersal of these grants, visit http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/Health_care_reform.aspx#map.