BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amedisys, one of the nation's largest home health care and hospice companies, applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision to extend Affordable Care Act funding for programs designed to move Medicaid beneficiaries from institutions into their own homes or other community settings. The decision, announced last week by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will provide additional funding through 2016 to the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program and the Community First Choice (CFC) Option program.
The decision will extend funding to the 29 States and the District of Columbia already operating the MFP demonstration program, and provide grants to start the program in 13 additional states. Starting in October, states that provide community-based attendant services and support to Medicaid recipients will have access to a six percent increase in federal matching funds through the new CFC program.
"We are pleased to see such significant funding for programs that will enable Medicaid recipients to have more of a choice about where they can receive care," said Michael Fleming, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Amedisys. "Research has shown that when medically feasible, people prefer to receive medical attention in the comfort of their own homes and this is a sentiment we have seen echoed in the patients we serve every day. This funding also provides a positive opportunity for those who may have previously only been able to live in an institution or a nursing home to receive quality care in a homecare or community-based setting."
Amedisys also greatly supports CFC funding to cover financial costs associated with moving individuals from institutions to the community, including housing deposits, basic household supplies and rent. "By reducing the financial burden to patients and families associated with moving from an institution into a home or community-based setting, patients are then given an opportunity to focus on leading a substantive life in the community of their choosing, a notion we are very encouraged by," adds Dr. Fleming.
As the proposal stands now, states will see a total of $621 million committed for the MFP program, and up to $3.7 billion in increased federal funding to support the CFC program.
Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) is a leading health care company focused on bringing home the continuum of care. Amedisys delivers personalized health care services to patients and their families, in the comfort of patients' homes, with approximately 10 million patient care and education encounters per year. Amedisys has two divisions, home health care and hospice. The Company's state-of-the-art advanced chronic care management programs and leading-edge technology enables it to deliver quality care based upon the latest evidence-based best practices. Amedisys is a recognized innovator, being one of the first in the industry to equip its clinicians with point-of-care laptop technology and referring physicians with an internet portal that enables real-time coordination of patient care seamlessly. Amedisys also has the industry's first-ever nationwide Care Transitions program. Amedisys Care Transitions is designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions through patient and caregiver health coaching and care coordination, which starts in the hospital and continues throughout completion of the patient's home health plan of care. For more information about the Company, please visit: www.amedisys.com.
SOURCE Amedisys, Inc.