Slow Start to Government Program Meant to Get People Out of Nursing Homes
Have you heard of Money Follows the Person? It’s a Medicaid program in which states get federal money to help them move certain people from nursing homes to the community. Well, they’re supposed to move them.
In reality, only a fraction of the projected participants have been moved in this relatively young program, Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post report. They list a few potential reasons. One is that many people who would qualify just don’t know about Money Follows the Person. Another is housing difficulty.
For example, in Washington, D.C., where about 11 percent of the expected participants have been moved over almost five years, the Money Follows the Person project director, Leyla Sarigol, said her office “has faced barriers finding subsidized housing and primary-care doctors for Medicaid patients with complex medical needs,” the article paraphrases.
Sarigol said that 40 nursing home residents were supposed to be chosen in a lottery in July for Money Follows the Person slots and that those who are relocated would continue to receive home health and community services after the first year is over. But as of mid-September, the lottery still had not been held.
You can see a list of states that offer Money Follows the Person at Medicaid.gov.
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.