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HHS finalizes community-based care rule; promotes home-based demo program

April 27, 2012
by Patricia Sheehan
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The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) yesterday announced two new initiatives to promote home- and community-based care as alternatives to hospitals and nursing homes.

HHS finalized the Community First Choice rule, which is a new state plan option under Medicaid, and announced the participants in the Independence At Home Demonstration program. The demonstration encourages primary care practices to provide home-based care to chronically ill Medicare patients.

The Community First Choice Option provides states choosing to participate in the option a six percentage point increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for providing community-based attendant services and supports to beneficiaries who would otherwise be confined to a nursing home or other institution.

Also, the first 16 organizations that will participate in the new Independence at Home Demonstration were announced Thursday. They will test whether delivering primary care services in the home can improve the quality of care and reduce costs for patients living with chronic illnesses. The demonstration is scheduled to begin June 1, 2012, and conclude May 31, 2015.

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