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Health Homes: Who Knew?
Posted By Wendy Fox-Grage On July 31, 2013 @ 8:00 am In Thinking Policy | Comments Disabled
A new model of care called “health homes” is quietly spreading through many states, as Medicaid programs work to improve care for people with chronic conditions. The problem: Few people know what health homes are – or worse, they confuse them with home health services.
What are health homes? Health homes  are not a place (even though “home” is in the term). They represent an approach in which providers or health teams coordinate care across settings for people with chronic physical or mental health conditions.
Health homes provide care management; care coordination; health promotion; transitional care from hospitals to other settings; individual and family support; and referrals to community and social support services. Health homes are expanding because of the Affordable Care Act, which created an optional Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) benefit for states to establish them. States get money, too. They receive a 90 percent enhanced Medicaid match for the first two years.
What is my state doing? According to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute study , more than 30 states are either participating or are working to implement health homes. The figure illustrates state efforts as of May 2013.
Who are they? States can choose who can be health home providers. For example, they can pick:
States can also target health home services to certain geographical areas, and they can target certain health conditions. Health homes can serve Medicaid recipients who:
Why are they important? The key to this new model is care coordination. It is important because many people with chronic conditions see a variety of providers who often do not communicate with each other. This approach could be a viable solution for integrating and improving care across primary, acute, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports.
About the author: Wendy Fox-Grage is a senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public Policy Institute, where she works on long-term services and supports in the states. She has a Master of Science in gerontology and a master’s in public administration.
Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/31/health-homes-who-knew/
URLs in this post:
 Health homes: http://www.samhsa.gov/samhsanewsletter/Volume_18_Number_5/HealthHomes.aspx
 AARP Public Policy Institute study: http://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-06-2013/providing-ltss-at-a-time-of-high-demand-AARP-ppi-health.html
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/WFGRAGE.png
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 Health Homes Information Resource Center: http://www.medicaid.gov/State-Resource-Center/Medicaid-State-Technical-Assistance/Health-Homes-Technical-Assistance/Health-Home-Information-Resource-Center.html
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/wendy-fox-grage1.jpg
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