"Rewriting the Myths, Redefining the Realities"
by Homer Page
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced approximately $64 million in new grants to develop programs for people with disabilities or long term illnesses. The grants, awarded in 37 states, including Colorado, and one territory, are a key part of President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative to remove barriers to equality for the 54 million Americans living with disabilities. “These grants will allow states to make meaningful changes in the lives of persons with disabilities,” Secretary Thompson said. “They will also allow children and adults with a disability to live more independent lives with the freedom to make choices about their services.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will award the grant funds. The grants will help states enable people with disabilities to reside in their own homes and participate fully in community life. States receiving the awards will design and implement improvements in community long-term support systems in partnership with their disability and aging communities. These systemic changes will allow children and adults with disabilities or long term illnesses to live in the most integrated setting suited to their needs, exercise meaningful choices about their living arrangements and exercise more control over the providers of the services they receive.
Four grant programs comprise the “Systems Changes for Community Living” grants that are being released today.
“Real Choice Systems Change” grants: $40.8 million to help states design and implement effective and enduring improvements in community long term support systems to enable children and adults of any age who have disabilities or long term illnesses to live and participate in their communities.
“Community-integrated Personal Assistance Services and Supports” grants: $7.6 million to support states’ efforts to improve personal assistance services that are consumer-directed or offer maximum individual control.
“Nursing Facility Transitions” grants: $11.1 million to help state transition eligible individuals from nursing facilities to the community through two types of grants: State program grants to support state program initiatives and “Independent Living Partnership” to selected Independent Living Centers (ILCs) to promote partnerships between ILCs and states to support nursing facility transitions.
“National Technical Assistance Exchange for Community Living” grant: $4.9 million to provide technical assistance, training, and information to states, consumers, families, and other agencies and organizations.
Grantees will have up to 36 months to spend the money they are being awarded.
For more details about the grants, please visit the CMS Web site at: http://www.hcfa.gov/medicaid/systemschange/default.htm
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