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Contact: Megan Webster
(703) 562-1189

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2007

Alexandria, Va. — The Assisted Living Federation of America, the nation’s largest trade association for professionally managed assisted living communities, today hailed the state of Tennessee for extending assisted living benefits to Medicaid recipients.

“We are pleased that more residents of Tennessee will be able to avail themselves of assisted living services,” said Richard Grimes, president of the Assisted Living Federation of America.  “This decision will give many seniors in Tennessee freedom of choice in deciding where to live.’’

More than 40 states have adopted waiver programs to allow Medicaid-eligible residents to use Medicaid money for assisted living communities. The cost of assisted living communities is about half that of a nursing home and many state government officials view assisted living as a more cost effective and appropriate setting for many frail seniors.

Medicaid pays for nursing home care for the indigent. In many states, seniors were being placed in nursing homes before they needed those services because they could not afford assisted living. Medicare, the health insurance program for those over age 65, does not include long term care benefits.

Assisted living communities allow frail seniors who need assistance in the activities of daily life to remain independent in their own apartment or room while getting the services they need. Most state governments have obtained permission to use Medicaid funds for assisted living for those frail seniors who need some help with the activities of daily life, such as bathing and dressing, but do not require 24-hour nursing care. The state and federal government split the cost of Medicaid.

The decision was announced at the new Tennessee state chapter of ALFA’s first advocacy day at the Tennessee state capitol in Nashville on April 11. The home and community based waiver program, a part of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, is promulgating regulations for the program which is expected to become operational soon.

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About the Assisted Living Federation of America
The Assisted Living Federation of America is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally operated assisted living communities for seniors. ALFA’s member-driven programs promote business and operational excellence through national conferences, research, publications, and executive networks. ALFA works to influence public policy by advocating for informed choice, quality care, and accessibility for all Americans.

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