The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a final rule establishing Medicaid incentives for home and community-based services for chronically ill patients in lieu of being treated in a nursing home or other institution.

The Community First Choice Option program offers a 6 percent increase in federal Medicaid matching funds to participating states. The rule authorizes use of “back-up systems and supports,” which could include persons identified by a patient as back-up support, or “assistive” technologies such as personal emergency response systems and other mobile communication devices.

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