New funding for home care

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced additional funding to help expand home- and community-based services to 13 more states. The grants are part of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which is designed to help move Medicaid beneficiaries out of nursing homes and institutional settings and into the community.

Twenty-nine states, along with the District of Columbia, already operate programs with the help of MFP grant funding. On Feb. 22, Sebelius announced that 13 additional states would share $45 million in grant funding. Over the next five years, these states will split an estimated $621 million in MFP grants, according to Sebelius.

Additionally, HHS proposed rules that would grant all states access to approximately $3.7 billion in federal funding from the Community First Choice option program, which provides long-term care service and support. This program was started in October and allows states to get a 6% increase in federal matching funds for offering community-based attendant services and supports to Medicaid recipients.

First established as a demonstration program contained in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the MFP grants program has so far transitioned 12,000 individuals from institutional long-term care settings to community-based settings, officials said.

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