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HHS Announces Homecare Initiatives

MedPageToday, 2012

program, which increases the federal Medicaid funding match by 6 percentage points for states that provide home attendants and other forms of support to Medicaid enrollees who would otherwise need to be in a nursing home.
The services provided by the states will help Medicaid enrollees accomplish "activities of daily living and health-related tasks," according to an HHS fact sheet.
The program allows beneficiaries to "self-direct" which services they will receive, and states can provide services "that increase independence or substitute for human assistance, such as nonmedical transportation services."
To participate in the program, states must meet several requirements, such as designing the program benefits with input from stakeholders; developing a quality assurance process; and collecting data on the program for HHS oversight.
Also on Thursday, HHS announced 16 organizations that will participate in a Medicare demonstration project called Independence at Home.
The project is testing whether giving chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries primary care at home -- using physicians and nurse practitioners -- will improve quality and reduce costs.
The 3-year project, which will start June 1, will provide care for up to 10,000 Medicare enrollees, HHS said in a .
The agency also is seeking comments on a proposed rule for a option under Medicaid, which is another plan to encourage states to provide more community-based health services.
"Our goal is to provide person-centered support to every Medicare and Medicaid beneficiary, regardless of their physical ability or chronic health conditions," Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in the press release.
"These services and programs will help keep these individuals' health stable and keep them home where they want to be, while giving us even more tools to achieve better care for the patient, better health for the population, all at lower costs."
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