Headshot of CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will award up to $5 million each to Illinois, Kansas and New Hampshire, as well as to American Samoa and Puerto Rico, as they now will participate in Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person demonstration program, HHS announced Monday.

The news marks the first time MFP grants have been made available to territories. 

The additions mean that 41 states or territories now will participate in MFP, which is designed to help older adults and people with disabilities receive care in the setting of their choice and reduce unnecessary reliance on institutional care. 

“We’re putting the full weight of this agency behind solutions that can meet people where they are and help get them to where they want to be when it comes to healthcare,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement. “Money Follows the Person has a proven track record of helping seniors and people with disabilities transition safely from institutional care to their own homes and communities. Letting ‘money follow the person’ is key to those successes.” 

According to a new report from CMS, MFP has helped facilitate more than 107,000 transitions out of institutional settings since 2008. More than 85% of people who used Medicaid long-term services and supports in 2019 received HCBS rather than institutional services, according to the report. The MFP program first was authorized in 2006 and since that time has provided states with more than $4 billion to support people who choose to transition out of institutions and back into their homes and communities, according to the federal government.

The funding announced today will support the early planning phase for the states’ and territories’ MFP programs, including: 

  • Establishing partnerships with community stakeholders;
  • Conducting system assessments to better understand how HCBS support local residents;
  • Developing community transition programs;
  • Establishing or enhancing Medicaid HCBS quality improvement programs; and
  • Recruiting HCBS providers as well as expert providers for transition coordination and technical assistance. 

“Today we are expanding access to home and community-based services so even more states and territories are equipped to best serve the millions of seniors and people with disabilities across the country,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.