August 16, 2010
OHCA Contact: Jo Kilgore, Public Information Manager, (405) 522-7474.
Nursing Home Residents Given Option to Return to Community
OKLAHOMA CITY – “Wherever you go, there you are, and your money should be there, too.” This may sound like the catchy slogan of a credit card company, when in fact it’s the driving force behind a new program administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
Living Choice is a program that allows people whose long-term care is funded by SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) to decide where they choose to live. The Living Choice project, known federally as Money Follows the Person, provides services specific to the needs of people with disabilities or long-term illnesses who want to transition from a nursing home back into the community.
Since November 2009, 40 people have successfully transitioned out of a nursing home and back into the community.
People making such a transition often wonder where to begin; that’s why Living Choice provides transition coordinators to help them coordinate their move and set up their new household. The transition planning team helps arrange services such as personal care, skilled nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy and home modifications.
People who currently live in nursing facilities contribute their income to their room and board expenses, and SoonerCare pays the balance for those who qualify. Under Living Choice, the person receives his or her income directly to use for living expenses. Transition coordinators in Living Choice are also experienced at helping people qualify for housing subsidies and find other low-income options in the community.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority operates Living Choice through a Money Follows the Person program grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Oklahomans of all ages with disabilities or long-term illnesses who live in an institution are given the freedom and choice to live in a community setting. If you or someone you know would like more information, please call toll-free 888-287-2443 or visit the OHCA website at www.oklivingchoice.com.