CMS Announces New Federal Funding for 33 States to Support Transitioning Individuals from Nursing Homes to the Community
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the availability of up to $165 million in supplemental funding to states currently operating Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration programs. This funding will help state Medicaid programs jump-start efforts to transition individuals with disabilities and older adults from institutions and nursing facilities to home and community-based settings (HCBS) of their choosing.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated that the move is in response to the spread of COVID-19 in nursing facilities. Likewise, HCBS provide a lower-cost alternative. “Home and community-based care is not only frequently more cost effective, but is preferred by seniors and adults with disabilities seeking to maintain the dignity of independent living. This new federal investment will help states get our loved ones back home,” Verma stated
Thirty-three states (including the District of Columbia) that operate MFP-funded transition programs and plan to continue participating in MFP after this fiscal year are eligible to participate: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
Each state is eligible to receive up to $5 million in supplemental funding for planning and capacity building activities to accelerate long-term care system transformation design and implementation, and to expand HCBS capacity, such as:
- Assessing HCBS system capacity and determining the extent to which additional providers and/or services might be needed
- Assessing institutional capacity and determining the extent to which the state could reduce this capacity and transition impacted individuals to more integrated settings
- Provider and direct service worker recruitment, education, training, technical assistance, and quality improvement activities, including training people with disabilities to become direct service workers
- Caregiver training and education
- Assessing and implementing changes to reimbursement rates and payment methodologies to expand HCBS provider capacity and/or improve HCBS and/or institutional service quality
- Building Medicaid-housing partnerships to facilitate access to affordable and accessible housing for Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities and older adults
- Diversion strategies to prevent nursing facility admission
In addition, states could use this funding opportunity to support HCBS planning and capacity building activities in direct response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as to plan and implement the use of telehealth for nursing facility transition activities that would normally be conducted in-person or to redesign service delivery models to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection among MFP participants.
Supplemental budget requests under this funding opportunity will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2021. CMS will provide all eligible grantee states that currently operate an MFP-funded transition program with additional information on this funding opportunity.
For more information, please go here.