Report highlights continued growth of community-based Medicaid services

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Young Man getting his Mail, seated in his wheelchair

Community-Based Services Finally Make Up Over 50% of Medicaid/Medicare Spending

Medicaid is continuing to make progress redirecting funding from institutional care toward more integrated, home and community-based services.

According to a new report [PDF], funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the percentage of national Medicaid funding for long-term services and supports (LTSS) on home and community-based services increased for the third straight year in fiscal year of 2013. In fact, spending directed toward these programs constituted the majority of LTSS spending for the first time, rising from 49.3 to 51.9 percent from the year before.

The change reflects the gradual trend over the past two decades. In 1995, 82 percent of LTSS spending was directed toward institutional care, a figure that did not drop below toward 70 percent until 2003.

The rise in FY 2013 is the result of an overall 7.6 percent increase in home and community-based care spending, coupled with a 0.7 percent decrease in spending on institutional options.

Total federal spending for LTSS program is $146 billion, of which about $75 billion was used for home and community-based care, and $71 billion for institutional services.

Overall, LTSS programs accounted for 72 percent of Medicaid funding for people with developmental disabilities, 40 percent for the elderly and people with physical disabilities, and 36 percent for people with mental illnesses or serious emotional disturbances.