Joe Stango of Southbury, who has been advocating for the Money Follows the Person program for several years, fields a question at a May 19th capitol news conference as Rep. O’Neill and patients currently receiving treatment in long-term care facilities and their families look on. Rep. O’Neill, Stango, and the families called on the state legislature and Governor Rell to continue supporting the project, which could move more than 600 nursing home patients back to their homes over the next two years and to provide funding that will enable seniors and the disabled to remain in their own homes for years to come.
The families, who were participating in a news conference hosted by Rep. O’Neill, R-69th District, and state Senator Jonathan A. Harris, D-5th District, at the State Capitol May 19th, said they want to bring loved ones currently receiving treatment in long term care facilities back to their homes under the Money Follows the Person I Demonstration Project I (MFP I).
“The state is expected to save $30 million in its budget for 2010-2011 under the Money Follows the Person Project I if it maintains its current pace of transitioning nursing home residents back to their own homes. If they can maintain that current pace, they will have moved more than 600 more people over the next two years from high-cost nursing homes into their own homes, where they will receive home health care at significantly less cost,” said Stango, one of Rep. O’Neill’s Southbury constituents.
“Under MFP II, according to state Department of Social Services documents, if the state invests $165,000 in fiscal year 2010, they will achieve a $4.8 million saving in 2011. MFP I is designed to move people out of nursing homes into their own homes while the objective of MFP II is to enable the disabled and the elderly to remain in their own homes for years to come,” Stango said. “What we as advocates for seniors and the disabled are asking is to reinvest a small portion of the savings into the work force via the long-term care re-investment account.”
“This is one of those rare occasions when individual freedom can be strengthened and state finances can be significantly improved at the same time,” said Representative O’Neill, who Monday sent a letter to Governor M. Jodi Rell and Robert L. Genuario, secretary of the state Office of Policy and Management, urging them to support a $165,000 funding allocation in Fiscal Year 2010.“
“An appropriation of $165,000 in state funds will save $4.8 million in the next fiscal year in costs associated with nursing home care,” Representative O’Neill said in his letter to Genuario and Gov. Rell.
“It’s clear that state government needs to move forward with the Money Follows the Person II Demonstration Project,” Representative O’Neill said. “The MFP II project is a compassionate program that will allow people to be cared for at home where they can be with their families and friends. It also makes good financial sense, especially during a down economy when investing $165,000 in state funds in 2010 will save the state $4.8 million in fiscal year 2011.”