With so much budget cutting occurring due to the difficult US economy, it’s both pleasing and encouraging to see at least one state that is proposing an expansion to its home- and community-based care programs.
The Pennsylvania Governor’s proposed 2010-2011 budget recommends an increase of nearly $13 million to increase the availability of home-and-community based care for persons with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians as an alternative to nursing facility care.
This increase means that nearly 1,700 additional older adults and 1,525 additional persons with disabilities will be able to receive home- and community-based services (HCBS) so that they can live more independently.
With the ability to meet the needs of about four individuals through home- and community-based care at the cost of caring for just one person in a nursing facility, this increase recognizes both the cost effectiveness of these services and the value that home care services provide to individuals who prefer to age at home. Kudos to Pennsylvania for making a brave short term decision to increase their HCBS spend for the better long term health of the state and it’s aging constituents.