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New State Program Aims To Give Vulnerable Adults The Option To Get Care At Home

Kathleen J. Davis
90.5 WESA
Lawrenceville-area seniors listen to Governor Tom Wolf announce Community HealthChoices at the Stephen Foster Community Center on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

A new state program wants to help the nearly three million Pennsylvanians aged 60 and older have flexibility when it comes to healthcare choices.

Early next year, the state is launching Community HealthChoices, a mandatory managed care long-term services and support program for elderly adults on Medicaid and Medicare.

It will also apply to those 21 and older with disabilities who receive long-term support for help with everyday personal tasks.

Pennsylvania's Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne said the program will help vulnerable adults remain in their homes, while still receiving top of the line care.

"We know we can do better when we leverage our resources to care for [these people] at home, rather than in an institution," Osborne said. "That's not to imply that we don't need that long-term system, but we want to utilize that last as opposed to first."

Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Teresa Miller said Community HealthChoices will provide what she called rounded care for patients.

"We're going to do a better job of coordinating our physical health, our long-term services and supports, our behavioral health, and that's the goal here," Miller said. "It's all about making sure people have access to the services they need in their homes, and all of that will be coordinated through the program."

Community HealthChoices will be launched in 14 southwestern Pennsylvania counties next January, and will expand to the rest of the state by 2020.