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State wants feedback on its home and community-based care and services


State wants feedback on its home and community-based care and services

Nov 28, 2023 | 11:43 am ET
By Annmarie Timmins
State wants feedback on its home and community-based care and services
Tom Kangas of Charlestown, who has Parkinson's disease, is able to live independently through the Choices for Independence program. (Kate Brindley | Kate Brindley | New Hampshire Bulletin)

Lawmakers made historic investments this year in long-term home and community-based care for older people and individuals with disabilities. Now the state wants to hear how those services, which allow people to avoid a nursing home, can be improved.

This includes the Medicaid-funded Choices for Independence program, which saw a 42 percent increase in reimbursement rates this year. The program provides nearly 3,800 Granite Staters with basic care, such as help with bathing, cooking, or dressing so they can remain at home or in a small community setting. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Human Services Research Institute and the University of New Hampshire Center on Aging and Community Living, is offering individuals, caregivers, and service providers a number of ways to give feedback.

There will be two in-person public comment sessions:

  • Dec. 5 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Berlin Senior Center
  • Dec. 14 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at GoodLife Programs & Activities in Concord

There will be two virtual sessions:

  • Dec. 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • The second session, with Spanish language access, is still being scheduled. 

The link for both sessions will be us06web.zoom.us/j/84586985396.

Individuals can also join by phone by calling 1-646-931-3860 and entering the meeting identification number 845 8698 5396.

Comments can be shared via email:

People who need accommodations for communication access to in-person sessions such as interpreters, captioning, assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services, must contact the state Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services at least five business days before the listening session at 603-271-9203 or [email protected]

The Department of Health and Human Services said it will try to accommodate requests received beyond five days but cannot guarantee they will be available.   

Once the data collection and analysis are complete, the partners will issue a report in June that will include actionable recommendations to promote community integration, independence, and a robust system of services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, the department said in a press release.

In a 2022 analysis of Medicaid investments, the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute found that between 2011 and 2021, the state’s Medicaid payments to the Choices for Independence program had not kept pace with inflation. If they had, those providers would have seen an additional $152 million in that time, the analysis said.

“New Hampshire has made investments in recent years geared toward enhancing our long-term supports and services,” Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Weaver said in a statement. “We look forward to working with individuals, caregivers, and stakeholders to ensure we are continuing to meet the needs of the people who use long-term services and supports, so they can live independently in their communities.”