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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich announces $55.7 million to help more long term care residents return to their homes or community residence
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides new federal matching funds to be distributed over five years

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois will receive an estimated $55.7 million in new federal funding over five years to help people living in nursing facilities return to their homes or a community residence.  The “Money Follows the Person (MFP)” initiative will increase the number of patients able to make the transition back into their communities by approximately 3,500 over the course of five years. In addition to the federal award, the state has also committed $23.8 million to this expansion of home and community based services.

“Thousands of people in Illinois are in need of long term care – but often, the only place they can find that care is in a nursing home,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “This money will allow more people to get the care they need in the comfort of their own homes or in a community residence.”
     
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services is working with the Department of Human Services, Department on Aging and the Illinois Housing Development Authority on this project. Individuals with many different needs will benefit from this collaborative effort by state agencies, providers and advocacy groups.
 
“This funding will help give residents in long term care a greater choice on how and where they get the healthcare services they need,” said Barry Maram, Director of Illinois Healthcare and Family Services. “This new funding will continue Governor Blagojevich’s nationally recognized efforts to not only expand access to care but to further improve the quality of care that is delivered.”

"This new funding will greatly expand and enhance the department's services and programs to help more people with severe mental illness, developmental disabilities and/or physical disabilities residing in long term care return to home and community,” said IDHS Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D.  "We are strongly committed to maximizing this funding in support of the goals of consumer self- direction, independence and community reintegration."
 
States receiving grants under the MFP initiative will design programs with three major objectives:
  • Eliminate barriers or mechanisms that prevent Medicaid-eligible individuals from receiving support for appropriate and necessary long-term services in the setting of their choice;
  • Increase the ability of the state Medicaid program to assure continued provision of         home and community based long-term care services to eligible individuals who choose to move from an institutional to a community setting; and
  • Ensure that procedures are in place to provide quality assurance for individuals receiving Medicaid home and community-based long-term care services and to provide for continuous quality improvement in such services.    
“In receiving this grant award today, Illinois will be able to shift its Medicaid program’s traditional emphasis on institutional care to one that offers beneficiary’s greater choices that include home-based services,” said Leslie V. Norwalk, acting administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “There is more evidence than ever that people who need long-term care prefer to remain in their own homes. Illinois recognized this and took action to give its beneficiaries more control over how and where they receive the services they need.”
 
Money Follows the Person is just another step in providing all Illinois residents with not only quality healthcare but also choices on how they receive it. One example of the enhanced choices is the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Supportive Living Facility Program.  Since Governor Blagojevich took office in January 2003, 57 Supportive Living Facilities, containing over 4,400 apartments, have become operational. These Supportive Living Facilities allow seniors and persons with disabilities to maintain their dignity and independence in their own apartments while having the peace of mind to know that help is there when they need it.
 


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