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Money Follows the Person Helps Thousands Move Back to Their Communities

March 28, 2013

The federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) program has allowed more than 25,000 elders and people with disabilities with Medicaid to receive care in their preferred home and community-based settings, reports an issue brief from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

In August 2012, Kaiser surveyed the 46 states that participate in the MFP demonstration, which was enacted in in 2006.

The survey shows that of the 25,100 Medicaid recipients that have used the MFP program to move back to their communities from institutional settings. Nearly half of the MFP transitions (43 percent) came from were in just three states: Ohio, Texas, and Washington.

Additionally, the survey found that the average per capita cost of serving MFP participants in the community was $4,432.

Of the 46 states surveyed, 24 said that the cost associated with MFP was lower than the cost of serving Medicaid recipients in institutions. One state said that the two costs were comparable; the others declined to answer that survey question.

Affordable Housing an Issue

The increasing demand for community-based care has led to a commensurate demand for safe, affordable housing, the Kaiser report notes.

Twenty-seven states said that housing is the most significant issue facing MFP in the future, the survey shows.

Many states currently employ multiple housing coordinators to help MFP participants locate places to live in their communities.

“In the year ahead, states will continue efforts to identify additional housing subsidies or vouchers while also building capacity for more community-based providers and services,” the report says.

MFP was extended until 2016 by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and “will likely remain a key component in state [long-term services and supports] rebalancing efforts going forward,” the report states.

— by Matthew Ozga

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