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Department Of Human Services Receives Federal Funding to Support Medicaid Beneficiaries Receiving Care Services in Their Community

09/19/2022

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced that Pennsylvania has received an estimated $12 million in federal reimbursement funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program to continue to support new and existing activities that meet the criteria for MFP funding. 

The MFP program allows states to leverage federal dollars to help Medicaid beneficiaries who live in institutions receive services they need in community settings instead. 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. 

“Our goal at DHS is to ensure that Pennsylvanians have what they need so they can live with dignity and independence in their communities. This MFP funding will allow us to invest in sustainable projects and new initiatives to improve the services that support some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “We are thankful that our federal partners are helping us achieve this goal so we can ensure that all Pennsylvanians will have an improved quality of life.”   

Since 2008, Pennsylvania’s participation in MFP has helped more than 4,500 individuals transition into the community, and MFP funding has provided Pennsylvania an estimated $180 million to cover a percentage of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and administrative activities.   

MFP funding can be used for education/outreach, trainings, IT enhancements and data analytics, capacity building, and pilot programs. Projects funded with this year’s federal MFP administrative reimbursement include:   

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. 

Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy at Torrance State Hospital  

Staff at Torrance State Hospital will receive extensive training on the use of Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R). CT-R and case-specific work can help prepare individuals with complex behavioral needs to transition to the community. 

Nursing Home Transition Training  

700 nursing facilities will participate in trainings and resident education sessions so nursing facility staffs 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 of an intellectual disability/autism and a co-occurring mental illness. CBI offers high-level education with a focus on best practices in supporting individuals with complex needs. Funding will also support a new education and training initiative   to build the capacity of the systems involved in serving individuals under 21 with developmental and intellectual disabilities with complex needs.  

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  

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown caused or exacerbated trauma for individuals with complex needs, and participants and providers needed resources to prepare for and respond to these individuals. MFP funding will support a collection of “micro-learning” resources about COVID-19 response and other trauma-related issues, which 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 telementoring and collaborative care.  

Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund Program  

The statewide 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. 

More information on MFP can be found here.  

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

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