*** HHS Announces New Affordable Care Act Options for Community Based Care ***
Medicaid and Medicare Introduce Greater Flexibility for Beneficiaries to Receive Care at Home or in Settings of Their Choice
New opportunities in Medicaid and Medicare that will allow people to more easily receive care and services in their communities rather than being admitted to a hospital or nursing home were announced on April 26 by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
HHS finalized the Community First Choice rule, which is a new state plan option under Medicaid, and announced the participants in the Independence At Home Demonstration program. The demonstration encourages primary care practices to provide home-based care to chronically ill Medicare patients.
Both are made possible by the Affordable Care Act. Studies have shown that home and community-based care can lead to better health outcomes.
The final rule released today on the Community First Choice Option provides states choosing to participate in this option a six percentage point increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for providing community-based attendant services and supports to beneficiaries who would otherwise be confined to a nursing home or other institution.
Also today, the first 16 organizations that will participate in the new Independence at Home Demonstration were announced. They will test whether delivering primary care services in the home can improve the quality of care and reduce costs for patients living with chronic illnesses. These 16 organizations were selected from a competitive pool of more than 130 applications representing hundreds of health care providers interested in delivering this new model of care.
The Independence at Home demonstration, which is voluntary for Medicare beneficiaries, provides chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with a complete range of in-home primary care services. Under the demonstration, CMS will partner with primary care practices led by physicians or nurse practitioners to evaluate the extent to which delivering primary care services in a home setting is effective in improving care for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions and reducing costs. Up to 10,000 Medicare patients with chronic
conditions will be able to get most of the care they need at home.
The demonstration is scheduled to begin on June 1, 2012, and conclude May 31, 2015.
HHS is also seeking comment on a proposed rule that describes a separate Home and Community-Based Services state plan option, which was originally authorized in 2005 then enhanced by the Affordable Care Act. Like the Community First Choice Option, this benefit will make it easier for states to provide Medicaid coverage for home and community-based services.
The announcements made today are one part of the Obama administrations efforts to help people with disabilities and those living with chronic illness stay in their own homes when they wish to do so.
For more information:
* Administration for Community Living- http://www.hhs.gov/acl/
* Community First Choice Option fact sheet- http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/factsheet.asp?Counter=4350&intNumPerPage=10&checkDate=&checkKey=&srchType=1&numDays=3500&srchOpt=0&srchData=&keywordType=All&chkNewsType=6&intPage=&showAll=&pYear=&year=&desc=&cboOrder=date
For more information on the Independence at Home demonstration and the organizations selected to participate visit the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation website at http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/independence-at-home/.
The rules may be viewed at the Office of the Federal Register website at
Full text of this excerpted CMS press release (issued April 26) can be viewed at
Edited by: QUILTINGB52 at: 5/6/2012 (00:43)
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