Federal grants help low-income seniors with long-term care and assisted living costs

Biden healthcare funding

Roland Acles, 85, is comforted by Linda Laisure, his care coordinator at the Carewest Arizona Nursing Home (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

By Elizabeth Sloan

January 12, 2024

There’s good news for Arizonans who rely on health services delivered in their homes and communities: $356 million in federal funds to help law-income residents cover the cost of medical care.

So far, grants have gone towards:

  • Home health care and personal care services
  • Rehabilitation
  • Private duty nursing
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • School-based services for children

The investment in at-home health services comes from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), and is being managed by local Arizona agencies. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has already distributed $17 million in first-round grants. There were 61 grantees in total—at least one in every county across the state. The breakdown:

  • 25 grants for rehabilitation services
  • 12 grants for aging services, behavioral health, and attendant care
  • 10 grants for in-home assisted living programs
  • 8 grants for assisted living centers
  • 6 grants for outpatient clinics

ARP funding will also enhance training and continuing education for long-term healthcare professionals in Arizona, securing a well-trained workforce for the state’s future. To encourage workers to enter and stay in the field, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) will lead a collaboration of the state’s 10 community college districts.

The 10-district partnership will work with health care plans and providers to increase financial aid and expand programs of continuing education. To establish and sustain a high-quality professional workforce, It will also create a comprehensive, open-source, pre-service and in-service competency-based training program.

“We’re excited about this opportunity,” said Rochelle Rivas, the MCCCD director of health care education. “This partnership will help us ensure that our state has a well-trained HCBS [home and community-based services] workforce so that Arizonans can continue to receive high-quality care within their own homes.”

According to Bill Kennard, AHCCCS’s workforce development administrator, more than 68,000 Arizonans receive long-term care services through Medicaid, most of it at home.

“Given that home and community-based services are such a critical service,” he says, “now is the time to build a workforce that supports our state’s needs.”

The second round of grants will open in December 2023. Applications must be received by January 17, 2024. Home and community-based healthcare organizations are encouraged to apply for ARP funding here.

Author

  • Elizabeth Sloan

    Elizabeth Sloan is a writer, speaker and public presentation coach. She specializes in medicine, education and the environment.

CATEGORIES: HEALTHCARE

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