CMS Announces Funding to Transition Individuals from Institutional Care
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 24, 2020)—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 of their choosing.
“The tragic devastation wrought by the coronavirus on nursing home residents exposes America’s over-reliance on institutional long-term care facilities,” said Administrator Seema Verma in the announcement. “Residential care will always be an essential part of the care continuum, but our goal must always be to give residents options that help keep our loved ones in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.”
“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,” she added.
The action is supported by new data that shows the need for this supplemental funding opportunity to accelerate states’ MFP activities. According to a new report released by CMS, MFP state grantees transitioned 101,540 Medicaid beneficiaries from institutional care to home-based and community services (HCBS) since the program started in 2007. However, last year, only 4,173 Medicaid beneficiaries were transitioned under the MFP program—a 46% decrease from 2018.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia operate MFP-funded transition programs and plan to continue participating in MFP after this fiscal year are eligible to participate.
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; and
- 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 a MFP-funded transition program, with additional information on this funding opportunity.