October 8, 2015
Today I had the pleasure of listening in on a conference call between Mrs. Levy and the Advisory Commission for Money Follows the Person (MFP). MFP is a program developed through Medicaid that strives to assist states in rebalancing their Medicaid funded long-term care systems. Helping transition patients out of long-term care facilities, and back into their homes is one of the commission’s primary goals. By allowing patients to choose where they receive their care, whether it is in-home, or in a facility, people feel as though they can take control of their own bodies and healing. Providing people with a public housing voucher, known as a transition-housing voucher, is how the commission helps move people out of the nursing homes. These are given to patients who are able to move out of a long-term care facility and live on their own with some supports.
The topic of today’s discussion was the monthly updates on the commission. There was a conversation on how remaining vouchers were being dispersed. Thus far, twenty-one people have found and have been approved for new transition housing. The remaining vouchers will be dispersed when and if an extension is granted, as the current deadline for the vouchers is September 30. While there are some barriers, such as getting approved with bad credit or with a criminal background, the commission does their best to place patients in an area they enjoy, and that accommodates their needs.
In the past, these programs have only been available to Medicaid members who were of 18 years of age and older, and enrolled in the EPD Waiver program. Unfortunately though, caseworkers were rarely assigned to individuals in the 18-59-age range, and the program became directed towards individuals 60 and over. While there are no clear statistics on how many adults aged 18-59 are disabled in the United states, lead agencies have seen the need for disabled individuals in the 18-59 year old ranges to have access to the program and have began to employ social workers to work with disabled patients under 60 years old.
Under the ADRC’s decentralization plan, Iona Health Services will become a lead service provider for those aged 18 and older in the coming months. A social worker will be on staff to assist those transitioning within the DC community. The social workers that pick up the cases of younger disabled individuals will be trained similarly to those trained using risk management methods under the No Wrong Door approach. While Iona has not begun the program at this moment, the program is set to begin shortly.
I found the conference to be informative, although it wrapped up leaving several questions unanswered. I am curious to know how the commission plans to share this information with the community. The program has the potential to aid adults of all ages, and truly can do wonders in someones life. This cannot happen though, if those aged 59 and younger do not have the knowledge of the program or access to information that is needed to enroll. I am excited to see how MFP will try and increase their community presence, and create community awareness.
This article was written by the LTC Intern, Candace White. Candace is currently a junior, double majoring in Political Science and Psychology, at American University.