Money Follows the Person Demonstration Bill Advances

Legislation | September 12, 2018 | by Andrea Price-Carter

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved legislation that reauthorizes funding for the MFP Demonstration Program for one year. The program is instrumental to ensuring that state Medicaid programs are able to help transition older adults and individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities from nursing homes back into local communities.

On September 7, 2018, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved six bipartisan health care bills. The full Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to consider the bills on September 13.

One of the proposals the “Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources (EMPOWER) Care Act (H.R. 5306)” reauthorizes funding for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration Program. During consideration, the Subcommittee supported an amendment that reauthorizes funding for the MFP Demonstration Program for one year instead of a five-year reauthorization as proposed in the original version of the bill.

Prior to the approval of the EMPOWER Care Act, the Subcommittee held a hearing on September 5. LeadingAge submitted a statement of support for the bill. Our statement highlighted how MFP is instrumental in ensuring that state Medicaid programs are able to help transition older adults and individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities from nursing homes back into local communities. We also emphasized that states began operating in MFP in 2007, and it has helped more than 75,000 people move out of nursing homes. Additionally, we pointed out its funding expired in 2016, and states have been using reserve funds since then and every state must stop accepting new participants by the end of this year and can only use the remaining money to help existing enrollees through 2020.