Archive for Medicaid and housing for the disabled

 

Medicaid to Help Pay for Food, Heat, Rent?

Maybe.

At least that is what Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hinted during a recent symposium held in Salt Lake City.

During the event, Azar said that HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation seeks

…solutions for the whole person, including addressing housing, nutrition, and other social needs.

Azar hinted at future CMMI action, saying that

What if we gave organizations more flexibility so they could pay a beneficiary’s rent if they were in unstable housing, or make sure that a diabetic had access to, and could afford, nutritious food? If that sounds like an exciting idea … I want you to stay tuned to what CMMI is up to.

CMMI currently operates one major program that seeks to address social determinants of health:  the Accountable Health Communities model, which screens participants based on social determinants of health metrics, identifies those it considers to be at risk, and then works to link those individuals to local and community services that can help them address their health-related needs.

Learn more about Secretary Azar’s comments and the federal government’s outlook on using Medicaid to help address social determinants of health in this article in Becker’s Hospital Review.…

States Get More Time to Improve Approach to Serving the Elderly, Disabled

The federal government is giving state three additional years to improve their Medicaid-funded efforts to help keep the elderly and the disabled in the community.

The requirement, established in 2014 for implementation by 2019, requires states to do more to enable the elderly to remain in their homes rather than go to nursing homes and to help the disabled live and work in the community or at least have greater control of their own lives while residing in group home settings.

Among the approaches states have been developing in response to the federal requirements are offering seniors programs of long-term services and supports as an alternative to nursing homes; requiring group homes to offer greater privacy to residents and greater freedom to manage their own money; offering more housing choices to the disabled; find ways for the disabled to work in settings that are not sheltered workshops; and more.

While most states have been working to develop new approaches in response to this Medicaid challenge, many were struggling and the additional three years is intended to give them more time.

States are still required to obtain approval for their plans by 2019 but will have three years to implement them.…