Federal Program to Promote Transitions from Institutions to Community Improves Quality of Life for Participants
October 21, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System
A federal program to support transitioning people out of institutions, such as nursing homes and intermediate care facilities, to community settings, such as private homes and apartments, tells "a consistent story of improved quality of life," says a report published in the October 2015 issue of Health Affairs on Connecticut's experience with the program. Called the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration, the program provides federal funds to states to help individuals with disabilities (e.g., physical, mental, developmental) and promote voluntary transitions from institutions to community-based settings. The report analyzes the experience of more than 2,000 people in Connecticut who transitioned to the community during 2008 to 2014. Despite needing assistance with an average of two activities of daily living (e.g., eating, bathing, dressing) and four instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., ability to use the phone, shopping, housekeeping), almost three-quarters of the participants moved into their own apartments, the report found. The only indicator measured that worsened following transition to the community was the incidence of falls, which increased to 26% six months after transition from 20% before the transition.