Massachusetts Receives Largest Award from Affordable Care Act Over Five Years to Help Elders and Individuals with Disabilities Live in Own Communities
The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced that Massachusetts will receive $110 million in federal funds over five years as part of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which supports seniors and individuals with disabilities so they may live in their own homes or in community settings successfully. Massachusetts is one of 13 states to receive federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) funding for the program and will receive $13.5 million in the first year, the largest grant awarded.
“We have always been committed to the principle of Community First and ensuring that Massachusetts residents have more choices for access to care and how they want to live,” said Governor Patrick. “We will use this funding to ensure that both seniors and individuals with disabilities who want to live in their own homes and communities have the support they need to do so successfully.” With this federal funding, the state will support the transition of more than 2,200 Medicaid-eligible individuals who are currently living in institutional settings, including nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities, into community-based care. As part of this effort, the state will initiate a more robust means of identifying eligible participants; counsel individuals about available community-living options; and provide transition and long-term support services.
“This grant offers significant support for seniors and individuals with disabilities,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. “By offering more funding for community supports, we are giving individuals an array of options for enriched residential living and care.” The MFP program provides individuals living in nursing homes or other institutions with new opportunities to live in the community with the services and supports they need. Individuals who will benefit from these home-and-community based services include elders and people with intellectual, developmental and/or physical disabilities, mental illness, and brain injury, among other conditions. “This federal funding is a tremendous boost to our efforts to expand choices and improve the lives of our members,” said Medicaid Director Terry Dougherty. “This project will strengthen our commitment to transitioning elders and people with disabilities to the community from institutional settings and improving MassHealth’s quality infrastructure, data resources, and reporting capabilities.”
Charles Carr, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, added, “Our cross-disability approach will greatly advance our efforts to make sure that people in institutional settings, regardless of their disability, have the opportunity to move to the community.” “The Executive Office of Elder Affairs welcomes this additional funding to offer a broader array of services and supports to those individuals who would prefer to return to community living from their institutional settings,” said Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Ann L. Hartstein. “This grant will allow us to fulfill the dreams of people with disabilities who prefer to live in their homes with community-based supports.”
“The independent living centers are looking forward to making this new opportunity for people with disabilities a reality for those currently stuck in institutional settings,” said Jim Krudinier, Executive Director of the Stavros Center for Independent Living.
“Money Follows the Person will provide an additional opportunity for the Commonwealth’s Aging and Disability Consortia to assist nursing facility residents to successfully transition to community settings,” said Dale Mitchell, Executive Director of Ethos, a non-profit organization that promotes the independence, dignity, and well-being of elders and people with disabilities.
As part of this initiative, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services has a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Housing and Community Development to collaborate on the creation of housing options for individuals transitioning from institutions into the community over the course of the five-year grant demonstration period. The Office of Medicaid, which is serving as the grant lead, is collaborating with a broad range of state government partners, including the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and the Departments of Developmental Services, Mental Health, and Public Health..