woman in face shield with hand on shoulder of other woman

Extending home care services may be one way to reform the long-term care system, according to Nora Super, senior director of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging.

With almost one in eight nursing home residents considered needing a low level care (without complex medical or rehab needs), according to a study by the Providence (RI) VA Medical Center, Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person program needs to be made permanent, she said. The program requires reauthorization every five years by Congress.

Super’s opinion was shared by the authors of an AARP article, which pointed out that state MFP programs allow Medicaid funds to be used not just for nursing homes but also for home care, enabling more than 100,0000 people to move out of nursing homes between 2008 and 2019. Moving forward, permanent reauthorization of MFP, which costs about $882 million a year, “will reduce Medicaid’s institutional bias toward nursing facilities,” she said.

This article originally appeared on McKnight's Senior Living