A federal initiative is helping institutionalized Pennsylvanians move into the community. It's called Money Follows the Person - and is representative of a shift in the way health care and social services are delivered.
It’s a 29 state federal effort to move people out of long-term living facilities like nursing homes or institutions. The person determines how their federal and state money will be spent. They make modifications to their personal homes or pay the health care providers they chose, for example.
In Pennsylvania, Money Follows the Person is a spin-off of the Nursing Home Transition Program, which had been helping people move into the community and linking them to services, transportation and delivered meals. Although there is an initial up-front cost to moving people, the program should ultimately save states and the federal government money.
The programs are part of a larger cultural movement of de-institutionalization following a 1999 Supreme Court decision. It required services be provided in the least restrictive setting possible.