HHS ANNOUNCES EFFORTS TO EXPAND AND STREAMLINE ACCESS

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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 Web sites 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.

“Providing people who have chronic care needs with personalized information and assistance so they can fully understand their options is essential to the transformation of our nation’s health and long-term care system,” said CMS Administration Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. “Aging and Disability Resources Centers are putting consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to making decisions about long-term care. These centers are also helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about and access their new prescription drug coverage and other preventive health benefits under Medicare.”

For more information on the ADRC grant program, go to the AoA Web site at http://www.aoa.gov, the CMS Web site at www.cms.hhs.gov/newfreedom/default.asp or the Aging and Disability Resource Center Technical Assistance Exchange at www.adrc-tae.org.

The grants are listed below:

Aging and Disability Resource Center Grant Program
Fiscal Year 2006 Continuation Awards
State Agency Total Award
Louisiana
Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs
$400,000

Maine
DHHS Office of Elder Services
$399,940

Maryland
Department of Aging
$400,000

Massachusetts
Executive Office of Elder Affairs
$399,976

Minnesota
Board on Aging
$400,000

Montana
DPHHS Senior and LTC Services
$400,000

New Hampshire
University of New Hampshire
$399,261

New Jersey
Department of Health & Senior Services
$400,000

Pennsylvania
Office of Healthcare Reform
$396,400

Rhode Island
Department of Elderly Affairs
$400,000

South Carolina
Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging
$400,000

West Virginia
Bureau of Senior Services
$400,000

Aging and Disability Resource Center Grant Program
Fiscal Year 2006 Supplemental Awards

State Agency Total Award
Arkansas
Arkansas DHS Division of Aging and Adult Services
$85,000

California
California Department of Aging
$85,000

Florida
Florida Department of Elder Affairs
$85,000

Georgia
Georgia Division of Aging Services
$85,000

Illinois
Illinois Department on Aging
$85,000

Indiana
Indiana Division of Disability, Aging and Rehabilitative Services
$84,744

Iowa
Iowa Department of Elder Affairs
$83,724

New Mexico
New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Care Dept.
$85,000

North Carolina
North Carolina DHHS Office of Long Term Care
$85,000

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
$85,000

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