Feds Announce More 'Real Choice' Grants
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 19, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC--The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last Friday that it was awarding nearly $20 million in new money for "Real Choice Systems Change Grants for Community Living".
The grants are intended to help states and territories to "rebalance" their long-term care systems for people with disabilities to help people to live in their own homes rather than nursing homes or other institutions.
"The grants awarded today will help states make lasting improvements to their home and community based services programs," said Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., CMS administrator, in an HHS press release. "This program is vital in helping Medicaid move from its institutional bias to a program that truly meets the needs of people who depend upon it."
Since the initiative was launched in 2001, CMS has awarded 306 Real Choices grants totaling $237 million to all 50 states, plus Guam, the Northern Mariana Island, and the District of Columbia.
Applicants for this round of grant awards will need to address three of six specific goals, including the development of information technology to support community living; long-term supports coordinated with affordable and accessible housing; flexible financing arrangements promoting community living; implementing comprehensive quality management systems; development of more self-directed service delivery systems; and improving access to information regarding available community-based services.