HHS Approves Alabama Disability Program
10 Feb 19:39
HHS Approves Alabama Program for Individuals with a Disability
To: National Desk
Contact: CMS Public Affairs, 202-690-6145
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson
today announced the approval of a new Medicaid waiver in Alabama that will
provide services to certain Medicaid-eligible individuals over the age of
21 with a substantial disability.
The waiver will assure continued support for people who might otherwise
lose their services simply because they turn 21. Many such individuals
receive vital health coverage under the Early and Periodic Screening,
Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program, but that coverage ends at age 21.
"We are pleased to see Alabama come forward with a program that will allow
people with a disability to continue living in their own homes, in their
own communities," Secretary Thompson said. "The Bush administration is
committed to helping states and the disability community change old
programs and develop new ones that will serve people with disabilities in
the settings that work best for them.''
Eligible individuals under the new Alabama waiver will be offered private
duty nursing, personal care/personal attendant services, medical supplies
and appliances, and assistive technology services in addition to the
Alabama Medicaid State Plan services. Participants in this home and
community based waiver will also be offered newly approved targeted
case management services. The program is expected to serve up to 30
individuals in the first year.
The federal home and community based waiver program, administered by the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, was developed to help those
individuals who would otherwise require care in a nursing facility to avoid
institutional or other high-cost, out-of-home placement by providing
services that are not offered under the Medicaid state plan.
The president has strongly encouraged states to develop better community
services in his Executive Order 13217 for his New Freedom Initiative. The
initiative directed federal agencies to identify and tear down barriers
that prevent community living on the part of people of any age who have a
The president's proposed 2004 New Freedom budget proposal includes more
than $1.75 billion over 5 years to help federal and state Medicaid funds to
"follow the person" to the most appropriate and preferred setting and
enable states to reduce their reliance on institutions.
"We are glad to work with Alabama -- and any state -- to help elderly and
people with disabilities participate fully in their communities," CMS
Administrator Tom Scully said. "This will be helpful to a lot of people,
including Nick Dupree."
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are
available at http://www.hhs.gov/news