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Shapiro Administration Secures Federal Funding to Support Medicaid Beneficiaries Receiving Long-Term Care Services in Their Communities

07/21/2023

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced that Pennsylvania will receive an estimated $42 million in federal funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program to continue existing and support new activities that make serving individuals in the community possible.    

The MFP program allows states to leverage federal dollars to help Medicaid beneficiaries who live in institutions to instead receive services they need in a community. The MFP program provides the state with the financial flexibility to allow services to “follow the person” as older Pennsylvanians or those with a disability transition from an institutional setting back into the community.  

“DHS knows that protecting our most vulnerable neighbors is a responsibility for all of us, which is why we are investing in programs that help ensure that Pennsylvanians have what they need so they can live with dignity and independence,” said DHS Secretary Val Arkoosh. “With this federal funding, we will be able to continue providing care and services in places that improve the lives of the people we serve where they are most comfortable – in their communities.”  

As Pennsylvania has annually since 2008, the Commonwealth applied for federal funding to help serve Medicaid beneficiaries, and since then, DHS has helped more than 6,000 individuals transition into the community. Pennsylvania has been awarded over $200 million to cover a percentage of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and administrative activities.   

In addition to providing additional federal match for services to individuals transitioning from institutional settings to community settings, MFP also supports capacity building initiatives aimed at diverting people from institutional settings. MFP funding has provided DHS with the ability to develop education/outreach, trainings, IT enhancements, data analytics, capacity building, and pilot programs. Projects funded with this year’s federal MFP administrative funding include:   

Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy at Torrance State Hospital  

Torrance State Hospital staff receives extensive training on the use of Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R). CT-R and case-specific work can help individuals facing complex behavioral needs finalize the care service plans needed for community discharge.   

Nursing Home Transition Training  

700 nursing facilities will participate in trainings and resident education sessions so nursing facility staff can provide residents with information about the option to receive care and services in the community.   

Capacity Building for the Dual Diagnosis Population and Individuals Under 21  

The Capacity Building Institute (CBI) Strategy educates, informs, and trains staff to identify and work with individuals who have a dual diagnosis. CBI offers high level education with focus on best practices in supporting individuals with complex needs. Funding also supports education and training to build capacity of the multiple systems involved in serving individuals under 21 with developmental and intellectual disabilities with complex needs transitioning from Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs.)   

START PA  

The START (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment) PA Program is a community-based program that assists individuals with an intellectual disability or autism and have a co-occurring mental illness. These individuals are at a higher risk for inpatient hospitalizations when they experience crisis and require a high level of specialized skill in assessment and treatment approaches. START PA builds upon local resources, works to close current gaps in the systems of care, and provides crisis intervention and response services and supports for these individuals in the community instead of in State Hospitals or State Centers.  

Trauma Awareness and Intervention Programs  

A collection of “micro-learning” resources about trauma-related issues that are updated and disseminated by the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Project via a hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing network. The ECHO Project addresses population health needs in a scalable way via tele-mentoring and collaborative care.   

Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund  

The state-wide Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund program is aimed at mitigating the perceived risks that landlords experience when considering renting to individuals with disabilities. The overall and intended net impact of this program is to increase this population’s ability to successfully secure rental housing.  

Shared-Housing Project  

The Shared Housing and Resource Exchange (SHARE) Program, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s shared housing match-up program, addresses the increasing need for affordable housing options for seniors by matching senior homeowners with individuals of all ages who are seeking a home. SHARE is currently operating in 13 counties.  

More information MFP can be found here.   

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina - ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov

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