RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Office of Health Care Reform Grants
May 10, 2007

On February 1, 2001 President George W. Bush announced the President’s New Freedom Initiative aimed at promoting full access to community life through efforts to implement the Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision. Executive Order 13217 directed federal agencies to work together to remove barriers to community living for the elderly and persons with disabilities. This included developing supports to learn and develop skills, engage in productive work, choose where to live, and fully participate in community life. The Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform (OHCR) is administering several Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) grants which focus on promoting full access to community life for persons with disabilities.

States are working on labor force efforts, information technology capacity, quality improvement, practical housing initiatives, managed care and mental health initiatives at the community level, and efficiency and reconsideration of value of funding spent on historically high-cost populations. Pennsylvania has taken specific actions in response to federal initiatives:

  • The Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform is coordinating grants.
  • Community Choices pilot projects for nursing home residents in several counties (Philadelphia, Washington, Greene, Fayette) are operational to give consumers real choice in home and community-based services.
  • Housing and labor force initiatives are underway (CMS grant for Housing and Long Term Supports, Department of Labor and Industry project on Employee Registries).
  • Downsizing of county-operated nursing homes.

A PCPA report provides an overview of the OHCR grants as well as the state’s Medstat Report on long-term living.

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