The Money Follows the Person (MFP) initiative was made part of federal law in 2005. It is a multi-year several-billion-dollar optional grant by the federal government to states who promise to use the grant money (as part of the Medicaid program) to increase the use of home and community-based services (HCBS) and reduce the use of institutionally-based services.

Not only do most people favor residing in the home or a home-like community location, but it has been proven to be more cost-effective for state governments. Thus, the federal government—by means of this initiative—has been encouraging the states to increase the availability HCBS for people with disabilities or needs for nursing-home-like care so they can move from an institutional setting into the home or an assisted living facility.

The grant money has allowed states to set up an infrastructure to determine which nursing home patients are most likely to benefit from a move from an institutional setting, to identify such patients, and to provide continuing assessment and care planning.

It also has been used by the states to offer expanded services beyond those normally encompassed in the HCBS program such as: personal care service trials; paying for a community ombudsman; transitional crisis support; team behavioral consultation staff; social work/counseling; consumer guides; transitional counseling; mental health needs; housing counseling; housing modifications; 24-hour care (in limited circumstances); service animals; vehicle modifications; moving assistance; caregiver training; roommate matching; internet installation; etc.

What is available varies from state to state, so be sure to check what it covers in your state. For more details, visit the MFP page on the Medicaid website.

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While the cost of a person residing at home—even with some outside care—certainly is lower than that of the same person residing in a nursing home, the fact remains that the person will no longer be receiving around-the-clock supervision by nurses and other workers found in a nursing home. So it is of vital importance that the individual receive correct assessment that they are a good candidate for such a move, as well as continuing assessment of their condition to ensure they are not put at risk by remaining at home or in an assisted living facility.

While the MFP Program is implemented at the state government level, a particular person applying for Medicaid or HCBS will probably not even be aware that they are affected by such funding. They will still need to follow all the usual rules of qualifying for Medicaid, only now there will be a greater likelihood that they will be able to continue to live in their community.

States Participating in Money Follows the Person (MFP) are:

AL, AR, CA CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV and the District of Columbia.