Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 8, 2008

CONTACT
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or marla.augustine@dhhs.ne.gov

 

Project Helps People Live "Wherever They Choose"

Lincoln—One person moved to a group home nearer her mother. Another moved from the Beatrice State Developmental Center to a group home in Lincoln. An elderly woman will soon be able, with the right services, to move back into her family home.

One thing these people have in common is that they are being served by the Nebraska Money Follows the Person project within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. This project helps eligible people currently living in nursing homes or intermediate care facilities for those with mental retardation to return to their homes or apartments or relocate to other suitable living arrangements in the community, with supportive services.

The money saved from people moving out of facility care is used to improve services provided by home and community-based programs, according to Vivianne Chaumont, Director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care.

"Many people can be served in their homes and communities, preserving their independence and ties to family and friends," she said. "The goal of the project is to make people who meet the eligibility requirements aware of these services and help them access them, so that they can live wherever they choose."

Nutritional, personal care, household and transportation services make it possible for consumers to remain in or return to the community.

Approximately 900 people are expected to be served by this project.

To qualify for Nebraska's Money Follows the Person project, an individual must be currently receiving Medicaid services; have resided in a nursing home or intermediate care facility for individuals with mental retardation for at least six months; move into a qualified home, apartment, family home or adult family home; and qualify for either the Aged and Disabled or Developmental Disabilities waiver services. These waivers provide on-going support and assistance to qualified consumers to safely return and/or remain in a community setting.

The Money Follows the Person project offers the state an enhanced federal share for the Medicaid funds Nebraska spends to support individuals transitioned from facilities to home and community-based settings, for up to a one-year period. Approximately 80 percent of the funding is provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and approximately 20 percent by the state.

The project will help DHHS rebalance Medicaid long-term care spending, decreasing the percentage that would normally be spent on care in nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with mental retardation and increasing the percentage spent on home and community-based services.

For more information visit the DHHS Web site at www.dhhs.ne.gov and click on the Medicaid and Long-Term Care tab to view the Money Follows the Person Web page or call the project at (402) 471-2308.

-30-