Bill a Boost for Assisted Living

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During this legislative session, Mississippi lawmakers will consider a bill to move Medicaid funding for nursing home services into a fund for home-based assisted living. This change is what some have called a "win-win situation."

"We feel pretty strongly that anybody that can live independently at home should be able to do so. And it's a fairly novel approach to healthcare," said Rep. Steve Holland of District 16.

With this change to Medicaid, supporters say Mississippi taxpayers win. It costs an average of $52,000 a year to place someone in a nursing facility, compared to $20,000 a year for home based care.

The patients win because they can enjoy a higher level of freedom than in a facility.

"It promotes that patient to be able to independently take care of themselves as long as they can," said Tal Robinson of Sta-Home Healthcare.

Many patients find the comforts of home to be the best place for recovery. Some patients can even choose to go to work. This level of independence alone can be a form of therapy.

"You can certainly prove that patients, especially acute care patients, where they may be coming out of the hospital into the home setting. They will do better and heal quicker," Robinson said.

Currently, Senate Bill 2582 has been referred to the Appropriations Committee for review.