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Key Legislation Introduced to Help Elderly and Disabled Remain in Their Homes

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2019 9:46 PM

Recently, two key pieces of bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House and the Senate to make it easier for the elderly and disabled to remain in their homes and to protect them from financial disaster. 

The Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources, and Care Act (EMPOWER) extends and improves the Money Follows the Person program (MFP) through 2023. MFP helps seniors, and individuals with disabilities, who want to move out of nursing homes and return to their communities. MFP has assisted more than 88,000 individuals voluntarily move into a setting of their choice and has helped 44 states improve access to community-based long-term services and supports, also known as “home and community-based services” (HCBS).

Currently, Medicaid requires states to provide care in nursing home, while HCBS is optional.  MFP provides incentive for investment in HCBS by granting federal funding for individuals who wish to leave a nursing home.  As a result of MFP, 88,000 people have successfully transitioned back into their communities.

“Providing long term care in the home costs less than institutional care and average monthly expenses for MFP participants declined by almost 25 percent in the first year after transitioning from a nursing home to HCBS. CMS also found that MFP participants are less likely to be readmitted to institutional care than other beneficiaries who transition but do not participate in the program.”

Source: NAHC Report

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