The six-year funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is for the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration Grant and continues an effort initiated in Nevada nine years ago.
Betsy Aiello, deputy administrator for the Division of Health Care Policy and Financing, said the goal is to use the money to transition 524 people out of long-term care facilities and into more home-based settings.
“The health care reform bill reauthorized ability to get more grants for this,” Aiello said Friday. “This is a pretty good dollar grant for us.”
Home-based transition began as a pilot program in northern Nevada in 2002. It expanded to southern Nevada the following year and the rest of the state in 2004.
Aiello said since then, people with less severe need have been able to get out of nursing homes and into more home-like settings.
“Now we’re getting to the point where we need more housing accessibility,” she said.
About $5.5 million in grant money will help support the cost of current Medicaid home and community services.
Nearly $2 million will be used to help set up community living arrangements, including assistance with rental, utility and phone deposits.
“If you go into a nursing facility and you’re there for a while, a lot of times people no longer have their home or apartment. Because they’ve been in an institution, they have no dollars to get those things set up,” Aiello said.
Funds will also be available to make physical improvements to a residence to meet a person’s needs, such as installing ramps and grab bars.
Another $2.3 million in grant money will allow consolidation and expansion of quality control measures to include a 24-hour backup system required for critical care services and a system to monitor the health and welfare of participants.
Aiello said overall the efforts should save money and improve the quality of life for those who need assistance.
“It costs less to support someone in the community,” she said. “And that’s where people want to be. Home.”