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CMS: HCBS Receives More Than Half of Medicaid Long-Term Care Spending

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CMS: HCBS Receives More Than Half of Medicaid Long-Term Care Spending

November 3, 2014
Last week, CMS Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group Director Barbara Edwards told a group of conferees that more than half of Medicaid expenditures on long-term care is spend on services delivered in home and community based settings (HCBS). This halfway threshold is an important one, as it shows the "huge movement" for the program, "where 10 to 20 years ago 80 to 90 percent of our expenditures were to institutional settings," Edwards said. 
 
In 2011, Medicaid spent approximately $357 billion on long term services and supports (LTSS), a number that is expected to rise as the increasing aging population increases the demand for services. Medicaid accounted for 40 percent of total expenditures that year, with Medicare accounting for 21 percent. 
 
Edwards noted that HCBS costs less than institutional care, but present additional challenges in ensuring that there is adequate infrastructure present to provide the LTSS that people require to live in the community.