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Reading the Stars: Nursing Home Quality Star Ratings, Nationally and by State

This issue brief presents national and state-level analysis of nursing homes based on the Five-Star Quality Rating System, recently updated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help consumers compare nursing homes when selecting one for themselves or their family members. The issue brief finds that more than one-third (36%) of the nation’s 15,500 nursing homes certified by Medicare or Medicaid received relatively low ratings of 1 or 2 stars (out of a possible 5 stars). In 11 states, at least 40 percent of nursing homes in the state have 1- or 2-star ratings. In 23 states, however, at least half of the nursing homes have 4- or 5- star ratings. This issue brief discusses relevant policy considerations regarding nursing home quality—a serious issue in light of the vulnerability of the nursing home population and recent reports of problems arising from inadequate staffing, fire safety hazards, and substandard care.

Medicaid at 50: A Look Back – And Ahead

Medicaid, the main health insurance program for low-income people and the single largest source of public coverage in the U.S., turns 50 this year. In that time, it has grown to cover nearly 70 million Americans and become a key source of financing for safety net hospitals and health centers,…

Medicaid Balancing Incentive Program: A Survey of Participating States

The Balancing Incentive Program provides enhanced federal matching funds, allowing states to advance their efforts to rebalance Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) spending and expand access to home and community-based services as an alternative to institutional care. This report highlights participating states’ efforts to implement the program’s three structural requirements and use the enhanced federal funds in support of other Medicaid LTSS rebalancing efforts.

Money Follows the Person: A 2015 State Survey of Transitions, Services, and Costs

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration provides enhanced federal matching funds, allowing states to better support Medicaid long-term services and supports beneficiaries in transitioning from institutions back to the community. This report highlights 2015 MFP enrollment and spending trends and services and supports offered across state MFP demonstrations.

Lessons Learned from Eight Years of Supporting Institutional to Community Transitions Through Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person Demonstration

Since 2008, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has periodically surveyed state Money Follows the Person (MFP) programs, conducted state case studies, and profiled the experiences of individual MFP beneficiaries. Based on the information and data collected in our six surveys, we identify some lessons learned from MFP that could inform future Medicaid long-term services and supports rebalancing policies.

Money Follows the Person: A 2010 Snapshot

Enacted into law in 2006 as part of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), the Money Follows the Person demonstration provides states with enhanced federal matching funds for twelve months for each Medicaid beneficiary transitioned from an institutional setting to a community-based setting. In July 2010, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) surveyed states about the current status of their MFP program including trends in enrollment, services and per capita spending.

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Programs: 2012 Data Update

This report summarizes the key participation and spending trends in 2012 for the three main Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) programs – (1) the mandatory home health services state plan benefit, (2) the optional personal care services state plan benefit, and (3) optional § 1915(c) HCBS waiver services. Also highlighted are 2014 state eligibility, enrollment, and provider reimbursement policies.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.