State official: Proposal would cut nursing-home needs by 30%, feds 'very interested'

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Federal officials are reportedly "very, very interested" in New Hampshire's proposed overhaul of the state's Medicaid program, according John Stephen, the state's Health and Human Services Commissioner.

On Wednesday, several members of New Hampshire's HHS department met with federal officials to review proposed changes to the state's system. Changes projected by proponents, including Stephen, would reduce nursing home use by 30% over the next five years by directing more people to seek in-home care and community-based services.

The plan, which is also still under review by the state's legislature, also calls for individual budgets and better management of mental health services and services to people with developmental disabilities. All told, the initiative would save the state and federal governments an estimated $495 million over five years, according to Stephen.