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Institute on Disability

Institute On Disability At University Of New Hampshire Collaborates With NH Department Of Health And Human Services To Transform Long-Term Care In State

Contact: Beth Potier
UNH Media Relations

Jan Nisbet
Institute on Disability

Sept. 30, 2005

DURHAM, NH – The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, will cooperate on a $2,066,699 federal grant from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services to transform New Hampshire’s long-term care system for elders.

“These dollars will help elders and people with disabilities to live in their own homes and communities with the necessary supports and services. People do not want to go to nursing homes,” said Jan Nisbet, director of the Institute on Disability (IOD). She added that while New Hampshire has led the country in community services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses, its long-term care system for elders has lagged and remains disjointed and highly dependent on nursing homes.

To address this, the IOD and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services have developed a comprehensive Medicaid reform initiative with strong legislative and consumer support that will:

  • Advance the tenets of consumer choice and control by submitting a new Independence Plus waiver for older adults and adults with disabilities as well as amendments to existing waivers.
  • Rebalance the long-term care system through access to 10 “one-stop centers” and community services and supports as well as local community engagement.
  • Develop the necessary information and technology infrastructure to assure self-direction, integration, efficiency, integrity, and quality.

Key to this system transformation is New Hampshire’s intent to expand a nationally relevant model that engages municipalities in long-term care infrastructure development, including affordable and accessible housing, transportation, employment, recreation, and personal assistance and social support. The transformation initiative will result in:

  • The development of a statewide one-stop system through the Service Link Resource Centers (SLRC) designed to reach 2700 people.
  • A 30 percent increase in the number of referrals to and placement in home- and community-based services using Rapid Response Community teams and new community service models.
  • A minimum of 20 engaged, accessible, and inclusive communities committed to supporting elders and people with disabilities.
  • Person-centered planning and individual budgets available to an additional 400 individuals with mental illness, older adults, and developmental disabilities.
  • Information technology strategies that support the shift from a provider-driven system to a consumer-driven system.

The mission of the IOD is to advance policies and system changes, promising practices, education, and research that strengthen communities and ensure full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons. Established in 1987, the IOD is a University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).