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Bay State to fund community living options for elderly

BOSTON —

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) John Polanowicz today announced 33 contracts have been awarded to community-based organizations to help seniors and people with disabilities live independently in their homes and communities with local support services.

A component of the Affordable Care Act, the program is an initiative of the federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) Rebalancing Demonstration Grant aimed to help states reduce their reliance on institutional long-term care and expand options for the elderly and people with disabilities to receive care in their community.

“The Patrick Administration has a strong commitment to Community First principles of providing seniors and people with disabilities options to choose where they live and receive services,” said Secretary Polanowicz. “Through this program we will be able to better provide cost-effective quality care while promoting self-sufficiency, dignity and independent living in the community.”

Funding for the Massachusetts MFP demonstration comes from a five-year $110 million federal  grant, which began in 2011.The MFP initiative has already helped over 400 individuals move out of nursing facilities and other long-term care settings and return to their homes and communities. Provider organizations selected through recent contracts will allow the expansion of these services to help an additional 1,800 Massachusetts residents. These organizations will support smooth transfers from facilities to community settings, plan and arrange the supports and services individuals need to live safely in the community, and assist in locating affordable and accessible housing among other services.

“These organizations have long histories of partnering with MassHealth to provide community services for our members,” said Massachusetts Medicaid Director Kristin Thorn. “Extending these partnerships allows the Commonwealth to support our goal of Community First while reducing overall health care costs.”

Those qualifying for the MFP demonstration include Medicaid-eligible individuals in nursing facilities, chronic and rehabilitation hospitals, public health hospitals, intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities and certain psychiatric hospitals who prefer to receive long-term services and supports in the community.

MassHealth is Massachusetts’ Medicaid program, providing health benefits to people with limited incomes. To learn more about the MFP Program visit: Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Grant Demonstration page.

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