Program benefits senior living — at expense of nursing homes

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A federal program designed to align spending with user preferences has helped 45,000 people transition from skilled care settings to assisted living and other senior living options, a new report finds.

In Connecticut alone, the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration helped more than 2,000 skilled care residents find alternative housing in less than seven years, according to Health Affairs. Authors keyed on Connecticut because it is one of the earliest participants and “an unusually rich source of data.” In all, 46 states and the District of Columbia have joined.

Nearly three-fourths of the Connecticut participants moved into their own apartments (71%), whereas others moved into their or a family member's home (21%), or an assisted living facility, residential care home or group home (8%), investigators noted.

“This program is also helping to improve the infrastructure of our state's community services.” says Dawn Lambert, project director of Medicaid Rebalancing Initiatives in Connecticut's Department of Social Services and a co-author of the Health Affairs article.

The MFP program targets people in institutional settings such as nursing homes. It helps them voluntarily transition back to assisted living, or other community-based settings. Participants receive personalized services and Medicaid benefits.

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