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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Aging News and Perspective

GUEST COLUMN:
Aging is the Ohio Department of Medicaid's business, too!

Investing in health, wellness, independence and dignity for all Ohioans

May 23, 2016
By John B. McCarthy, Director
Ohio Department of Medicaid

As we celebrate Older Americans Month this May, The Ohio Department of Aging reminds us that we all have a role in serving Ohioans beyond 60, and that our state benefits greatly from their contributions as leaders, mentors and volunteers in our communities.

John B. McCarthy, director, Ohio Department of MedicaidThe Ohio Department of Medicaid embraces this opportunity and has been working hard to provide older Ohioans with the high quality care they deserve. Approximately 182,000 Ohio residents are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, but there was previously a lack of coordination between the two programs. This resulted in a system that was confusing and difficult for individuals to navigate. MyCare Ohio was launched in 2014 to create a more responsive and cost-effective system in Ohio for individuals with both Medicaid and Medicare. The demonstration program uses a managed care approach to better connect benefits and services for approximately 95,000 residents in 29 counties.

Ohio Medicaid also recognizes the importance of protecting older Americans' independence and dignity. Our investment in home and community-based service options allows individuals to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, rather than institutional settings. In 2013, Ohio was awarded more than $169 million for its participation in the Balancing Incentive Program to help achieve balance in long-term care funding, and by end of 2014 our agency had reached the 50-percent spending target to direct half of all Medicaid long-term care funding to home and community-based services. Additionally, work is underway to design and launch an online, single-point entry for access to long-term care services and supports.

The HOME Choice program, which is dedicated to transitioning eligible Ohioans out of long-term care facilities and back into the community, is a great example of the state's efforts to prioritize home and community-based services. 8,000 people have been able to receive services and support at their home and in their community with the help of HOME Choice. Ohio ranks second in the nation for overall transitions and we continue to create new avenues for individuals to enjoy independence through greater choice.

Ohio's commitment to its seniors remains strong. Ohio Medicaid is proud to work with the Ohio Department of Aging and other state agencies, nonprofit and community organizations, and stakeholders to promote the health and wellness of older Ohioans.

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Aging. It's Everybody's Business.

The Ohio Department of Aging is celebrating Older Americans Month with the theme: "Aging. It's Everybody's Business." All month long, we are turning our blog over to our many and various partners, from our sister state agencies to organizations and individuals working every day in our communities to build a stronger Ohio for all generations.

This article is presented for informational purposes and its posting here does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Aging of the author, his or her organization or the opinions expressed.

 

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