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NH to receive $26.5M to provide additional services to elderly and disabled

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 02. 2012 12:06PM

New Hampshire will get $26.5 million over three years to support elderly and disabled individuals in the community instead of in institutions, federal officials said Friday.

It is the first grant to a state under the Balancing Incentive Program, which will provide a total of $3 billion to states under the Affordable Care Act.

'Thanks to health reform, more seniors and people with disabilities will be able to continue to live in their homes and communities, rather than a nursing home,' Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement. (CMS) announced today.

'We hope other states will follow New Hampshire's lead in seeking this new grant money to expand community services and supports,' she said.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Balancing Incentive Program will partner with community organizations throughout the state to develop systems of community-based care that serve seniors and individuals with behavioral health needs, physical disabilities, and intellectual disabilities.

Although all states are currently providing optional home or community-based long-term supports for the elderly or disabled persons under Medicaid, demand frequently exceeds state resources, CMS said.

The national percentage of Medicaid spending on home and community based services has more than doubled from 20 percent in 1995 to 43 percent in 2009, CMS said.

'These new grants will help states like New Hampshire give people with long-term care needs the choice about how and where to live their lives,' Cindy Mann, director of the CMS Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, said.

New Hampshire's grant funds will run from April 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2015.

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