HHS Announces Availability of State Funding
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on May 31, 2012, announced a new $25 million funding opportunity made possible by the Affordable Care Act to help states strengthen and expand their ability to help seniors and people with disabilities access home and community-based long-term services and supports. Over the next one to three years, funding will support Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) in nearly every state.
Each year, more seniors, people with disabilities and their families are confronted with often challenging decisions about how to obtain the long-term services and supports they need. Choices range from care in their home to care in a nursing home; social supports for daily living to home health care; transportation to physical therapy to name a few. ADRCs will make it easier for people to learn about and access the services that are available in their communities and best meet their needs.
“We are pleased to make it easier for Americans to get the care and support they need where they need it,” said Secretary Sebelius. “This opportunity, supported by the new health care law, will help states continue to improve their long-term service and support systems.”
The initiative, known as the Aging and Disability Resource Center Program, is established through a partnership between the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
The VHA will make an additional $27 million available over three years in ADRC-funded states through the VA Medical Centers. This funding will increase access to home and community-based services for veterans through ADRC programs.
"Veterans with disabilities are increasingly looking for services that help them remain in their own homes with their loved ones," said VA Under Secretary for Health Robert A. Petzel. This“offers one more opportunity for VA to continue to thank our Veterans by providing them support in a setting of their choice, in this case their own home."
The ADRC Program will help state agencies administer and better coordinate state and federal long-term service and support programs for older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans with disabilities. Approximately eight states will be competitively selected to accelerate the development over a three-year period of the creation of single entry point models, which provides one-on-one options counseling to streamline the intake and eligibility determination processes for consumers accessing long-term service and support programs.
Kathy Greenlee, ACL’s administrator and assistant secretary for aging, said, “Options counseling is an important tool that can provide custom-tailored advice about all the services available in a person’s community, reducing unnecessary time and energy spent searching for answers in a variety of places.”
“We want these programs to serve as high-performing ‘one-stop shop’ models across the country,” said CMS’ Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
In addition to accelerating activities in the eight states selected, funding will be provided by ACL to up to 40 states next year to support their current ADRC programs. This will help them develop a sustainable infrastructure that is critical to ensuring ongoing coordinated access to services.
This announcement is part of the Obama administration’s long-standing commitment to ensure that seniors, people with disabilities, and those living with chronic illness have the necessary services and supports to stay in their own homes when they wish to do so. In April, Secretary Sebelius announced the creation of the new ACL, bringing together key HHS offices dedicated to improving the lives of Americans with functional needs into one coordinated, stronger entity. This new agency, which acts as a key partner in today’s announcement, will work on increasing access to community supports and achieving full community participation for seniors and people with disabilities.
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