Your elderly loved ones may
encounter a few tough transitions upon injury or illness, such as going to the
hospital for care or going from a hospital to a nursing home for recovery. One
of the most difficult transitions can be returning
home from the nursing home.
Every state is different, but
most states sponsor a special Medicaid program paid for by federal dollars that
allows a senior to transition all the way back home to receive their care
there. The program is called Money Follows the Person.
For a firsthand account, read a
recent Kaiser Health News article
titled “Moving People Home After Nursing Home Stay
Is Complicated.” It is the story of Dorothy Holmes who was able to return
to her home with the help of Massachusetts Medicaid. Although the Holmes story
and the details of the program highlighted are specific to Massachusetts, some
45 states have adopted similar such programs.
The common key is that the
programs identify Medicaid patients who are and have been in nursing homes for
at least 90 days, but simply no longer need to be there. Consequently, these
programs help them transition home and continue the Medicaid payments for their
care. Not only is there a strong legal reason and ethical motive behind helping
people return home, but it makes good sense in terms of dollars and cents, too.
It is less expensive to provide
home care than it is institutional care. Therefore, the program is a win-win
for all involved.
If you have a loved one in this
position, then it is worth exploring your options. Transitioning home from a
nursing home can be tricky, especially since you do not want to lose the
nursing home benefits just because you do not need to be in a nursing home
setting. This program, if available, may find your loved one on its own or it
might be something to proactively contact directly.
For that matter, too, it is
worth noting that there may be other options for many patients. In many
instances it is merely a matter of finding and figuring them out.
Reference: The Kaiser Health
News (August 16, 2013) “Moving People Home After Nursing Home Stay