HHS awards $31 million in grants to 31 states to help elderly, disabled live at home

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The Department of Health & Human Services will hand out $31 million in grants to 31 states to help people with disabilities or long-term illnesses live at home instead of seeking aid in long-term care facilities, Secretary Tommy Thompson has announced.

The grants, part of the New Freedom Initiative begun by the Bush administration in 2001, were awarded on the basis of nine categories, including quality assurance, integrated housing such as assisted living, reform of long-term support services and a rebalancing initiative to remove patients "inappropriately" placed in long-term care facilities, according to the HHS.

The agency distributed the grants to states so that they may fund programs furthering the New Freedom Initiative's purpose of eliminating barriers to community care.