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HHS Announces Efforts To Expand And Streamline Access To Long-Term Care In Communities Through Grants To States

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced nearly $6 million in additional funding to 22 states to expand their efforts to establish single entry points to long-term care for families who are trying to learn about and access services in their communities. These Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) grants are part of the President’s New Freedom Initiative and the Administration’s commitment to bring transparency to health and long-term care so consumers can make informed decisions about their care options.

“The President has directed us to tear down the barriers that make it difficult for people who need long-term care to remain in the community,” Secretary Leavitt said. “By bolstering the resource centers through these grants, states can better serve families making effective long-term care decisions for a loved one, often with little time to prepare.”

To date, 43 states have received over $40 million in support under the ADRC initiative, which is jointly administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

States are using ADRC funds to better coordinate and redesign their existing methods for providing seniors, younger people with disabilities, and family caregivers with information and personalized assistance in accessing services such as meals-on-wheels, personal care, housekeeping, specialized transportation, assisted living and nursing home care.

“We are very pleased with the advancements states have made over the past three years to simplify access to long-term care for the elderly and adults with disabilities through the ADRC initiative,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell. “These resource centers have become visible and trusted places for information on long-term care options, and we are pleased to be able to assist states in furthering their efforts to make the ADRC the foundation for community-based care.”

ADRC accomplishments to date include: creating public Websites that give consumers easy access to information on the specific services available in their communities; co-locating staff from different agencies in a single location; and using computerized information systems to assess the needs of clients, activate the delivery of services, and monitor quality. ADRCs are also working with hospitals and nursing homes to help consumers avoid unnecessary placement in institutional settings. All ADRC grantees plan for eventual statewide coverage, and eight states are already positioned to achieve statewide coverage within three years.

Click here to view Press Release with grants listed.