There is a prime opportunity for home care agencies to apply for federal funding relative to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “Community Based Care Transitions Program.”
The $500 million CMS-based program was created under Section 3026 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is designed to improve care transitions between settings with the aim of reducing avoidable 30-day re-hospitalizations. The details of the program as well as direction have yet to be released, but it appears that CMS is looking for applications from health system partnerships, which must include a “community based organization.” The statute establishing this project and the CMS preliminary information also indicates that preferences will be given to applicants that have experience with “Administration on Aging” care transitions activities. Massachusetts is one of 16 states that has such a grant operating through ASAPs/ADRC and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
Other preferences, although not stipulations, come from applications focusing on underserved and/or rural communities and applications with a clinical focus on “high-risk” Medicare beneficiaries, which are essentially defined as medically and/or socially complex patients. There is also a general Medicare beneficiary focus and partiality towards hospitals with high readmission rates.
It is essential to reiterate that agencies should start a conversation with the following entities regarding this funding opportunity:
- Local hospitals – especially those involved in the STAAR Initiative – and/or health systems.
- Area ASAP’s (Aging Service Access Points)
- ADRC’s (Aging and Disability Resource Centers).
Interested agencies are urged to contact the Home Care Alliance as updates and guidance will be forthcoming. A conference call will take place next week that should provide some of that guidance, so PLEASE CONTACT US if you’re interested in participating. Again, it is up to provider teams that include a “community based organization” to assemble and submit applications.
CMS has a website with links to informative documents and presentations, which is available here.
Please contact us if you have any questions. For your convenience, the language of Section 3026 of the Affordable Care Act can be accessed here.
Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.