The Department of Health and Human Services is making $25 million available to give older adults better access to long-term services and supports in their homes and communities.
Aging and Disability Resources Centers will benefit from the funding in the next one to three years under the Affordable Care Act, says HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The funding will help the centers make it easier for people to learn about and access services available in their area, from home care and social supports for daily living to nursing home care.
“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 Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA) is making another $27 million of funding available for similar services to veterans.
The initiative, called the Aging and Disability Resource Center Program, is established through a partnership between the newly-formed Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VHA.
State agencies will be better able to administer and coordinate state and federal long-term service and support (LTSS) programs for seniors with the help of the ADRC program, says HHS.
About eight states will compete to participate in accelerating the development of “single entry point models” in the next couple of years. These “one-stop shop” programs will provide one-on-one counseling to consumers weighing their LTSS options.
“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,” said Kathy Greenlee, ACL’s administrator and assistant secretary of aging.
ACL will provide funding for up to 40 states in the next year to support current ADRC efforts, in addition to whichever eight states are selected to accelerate program development. This will help them develop a “sustainable infrastructure that is critical to ensuring ongoing coordinated access to services,” says HHS.
Written by Alyssa Gerace