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Written by: John Wolf on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Posted in:

The AARP Bulletin today features the state of Tennessee, a Harmony for Aging and Adult Services customer, highlighting the success they’ve seen in the last twelve months in providing long term care options as alternatives to nursing home care.

In less than a year, TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, enrollment for home- and community-based care rose from 18 to 25 percent – roughly 7,000 people through the newly implemented CHOICES program. TennCare’s CHOICES program is Tennessee’s answer to providing a choice in long-term care options. CHOICES helps the elderly and disabled to do everyday activities that they may no longer be able to do for themselves such as bathing, dressing, getting around their home, preparing meals, or doing household chores.

According to AARP, Tennessee ranked at or next to the bottom among the states in providing home- and community-based services for many years. CHOICES has completely overhauled the way the state responds to the needs of older or physically disabled residents needing daily care. On top of that, CHOICES is helping Tennessee save money. The average cost per participant in CHOICES is $15,000 to $20,000 compared to $52,000 in nursing home costs.

You can learn more about how TennCare is rebalancing care by providing options for long-term care in the AARP Bulletin.