HHS released a final rule for a new Medicaid community-based care option, released a proposed rule for the expansion of an existing community- and home-based Medicaid care option and unveiled the participants in a Medicare home healthcare demonstration program.
HHS announces moves on community-based care
The moves are all part of an effort to allow people to more easily receive care and services in their communities rather than being admitted to a hospital or nursing home, according to an HHS news release.
“We know that people frequently prefer to receive services in their own homes and communities whenever possible. The rule and demonstration announced today give people choice and provide states with flexibility to design programs that better meet the needs of beneficiaries,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release.
The final rule on the new Medicaid program, called the Community First Choice Option, provides states that choose to participate a 6 percentage point increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for community-based services and support to beneficiaries who would otherwise be cared for in a nursing home or other institution, according to the HHS release.
The proposed rule that was released provides additional guidance to states regarding what is called the 1915(i) option, which was first authorized in 2005 and was expanded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The option permits states to offer home and community-based services without the use of a waiver, according to HHS.
The first 16 organizations selected to participate in the Medicare demo, called the Independence At Home Demonstration, 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. The demonstration is scheduled to begin on June 1, and end May 31, 2015.
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