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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

Aug. 15, 2011

Ohio's nursing home diversion and transition initiative shows promise

80% of diverted consumers remain in community after six months

COLUMBUS - Many adults with disabilities who are currently living in a nursing home or bound for one can successfully return or remain at home with the right assistance according to a Scripps Gerontology Center report funded by the Ohio Department of Aging. The 14-month study examined the effectiveness of the Nursing Home Diversion and Transition Initiative passed by the Ohio General Assembly in 2009.

"The results of this study confirm that considering the individual's care needs before the location of the care makes sense," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department. "Not only are people happier and healthier when they have a choice in where they receive their care, care delivered in a community-based setting is usually more cost-effective."

"Ohioans currently use nursing homes at a higher rate than the nation overall," added Robert Applebaum, Ohio LTC Research Project Director and co-author of the report. "We recommend the state continues its diversion and transition efforts in order to achieve a long-term care system that truly is person-centered and produces positive outcomes."

From March 2010 through May 2011, Scripps researchers followed 2,244 individuals who were identified as good candidates for diversion from nursing homes to receive services in the community, and 1,555 individuals who, with assistance, could transition from living in a nursing home to residing in the community. Those who were assisted in transitioning to the community had lived in a nursing home for three months or longer.

A six-month review showed that 80 percent of diverted consumers, and three-quarters of those transitioning from nursing homes who were alive at the six month follow-up, were still residing in the community. In several cases, individuals who participated in the transition program had been nursing home residents for three or four years and had been able to return to the community as part of this initiative. About 90 percent of the transitioned consumers were enrolled in the department's PASSPORT or Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver programs.

View Scripps' full report at: http://www.scripps.muohio.edu/content/right-place-right-time-right-care-evaluation-ohios-nursing-home-diversion-and-transition.

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.


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