Connecticuts Money Follows The Person Yields Positive Results For Transitioning People Out Of Institutions
Author: Julie Robison, Martha Porter, Noreen Shugrue, Alison Kleppinger, Dawn Lambert
A centerpiece of federal and state efforts to rebalance long-term services and supports to enhance consumer choice and contain costs, the federal Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration helps qualified individuals living in institutions make the transition to life in the community. The Connecticut Money Follows the Person program is an unusually rich source of data, with information on the 2,262 people who transitioned to the community under that state’s program during 2008–14. Responses to participant surveys completed before and six, twelve, and twenty-four months after transition indicate that, for the majority of respondents who remained in the community, quality of life and life satisfaction improved significantly after transition, and they stayed high. About half of the participants visited hospitals or emergency departments after transition; however, only 14 percent had returned to an institution one year after transition. Predictors of reinstitutionalization included some not previously observed: mental health disability, difficulties with family members before transition, and not exercising choice and control in daily life. These and other findings suggest multiple ways in which policy makers can target efforts to strengthen transition programs that can meaningfully improve people’s lives while containing costs.