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SURVEY: Participation in Money Follows the Person Program Grows

May 29, 2014

More than 35,000 people had participated in the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program by August 2013, a newly published survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found.

Kaiser researchers surveyed each of the 45 states involved in the MFP program.

Enacted in 2006, the MFP demonstration allows elders and people with disabilities with Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports to transition from institutional settings to their preferred home and community-based settings.

The MFP program was extended through 2016 by the Affordable Care Act.

Survey Overview

The Kaiser survey shows that Texas, Ohio, and Washington State have been the most active participants in the program. Approximately 40 percent of MFP transitions occurred in those three states.

On average, the monthly cost of care for an MFP participant was $3,934 in 2013, down from $4,432 in 2012, Kaiser reported.

But lack of housing options continues to present a barrier to the MFP program, survey respondents said.

The survey shows that 20 states reported that a lack of “safe, affordable, and accessible housing” was the biggest challenge preventing them from enrolling more people with Medicaid in MFP.

For those who were able to take advantage of the program, MFP provided immeasurable benefits, the survey said. MFP participants said they have experienced “increased independence, regained freedom, and greater access to the community.”

Direct-Care Workers and MFP

The survey additionally found that, in two-thirds of participating states, the number of direct-care workers was sufficient to care for people who used MFP to transition back to their homes and communities.

States are making concerted efforts to “strengthen the capacities of direct support professionals and elevate their standing as professionals (i.e., compensation, benefits, and authority),” the authors wrote.

Some of these efforts include using MFP funds to train direct-care workers, and establishing direct-care worker registries.

The survey was prepared by Molly O’Malley Watts of Watts Health Policy, a consulting organization, and Kaiser’s Erica L. Reaves and MaryBeth Musumeci.

— by Matthew Ozga

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