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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. |
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Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. announced today that Atlantic and Warren Counties have been selected to pilot the State’s efforts to create one-stop centers that will help consumers learn about and access supports for long-term care. These centers will serve as gateways to programs for older adults, persons with physical disabilities and their caregivers.
Atlantic’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) will be the first established in New Jersey and is scheduled to be in operation in September 2004.
“These centers are essential components of the new, streamlined system for long-term care services outlined by Governor James E. McGreevey in his recent executive order,” said Dr. Lacy. “The resource centers will be used by consumers to access and obtain trusted information on the full range of long-term care options, from in-home services to nursing home care.”
Governor McGreevey issued an executive order March 23rd directing members of his cabinet to provide more flexibility for those choosing long-term care services. The order calls for the development of a global long-term care budgeting process, one in which there is flexibility to move beneficiaries to the appropriate level of care based on their individual needs. It calls for cutting the red tape in the Medicaid eligibility process that results in too many seniors and persons with physical disabilities defaulting into nursing home care when in-home care is what they want.
The governor’s executive order also calls for the launching of a new program, New Jersey Caring for Caregivers, which will bring essential services to family caregivers who make it possible for seniors to live in their homes. Finally, the order calls for an expansion of the Adult Family Care Program and the establishment of a home and community health care bill of rights to support New Jersey’s aging population.
The centers have been made possible by a federal grant received by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in October 2003. DHSS is collaborating with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish the centers and to streamline the long-term care financial and clinical eligibility process statewide.
New Jersey was among twelve states to be awarded an ADRC grant by U.S. Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson last year. Twelve new states and territories were awarded grants in a second round of funding earlier this month. New Jersey’s three year grant funding totals $798,041.
The ADRC grant program is part of President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative. The program, which provides states with an opportunity to integrate their long-term support resources for consumers into a single coordinated system, is a joint effort involving HHS’ Administration on Aging (AOA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The ADRCs in Atlantic and Warren Counties will connect consumers to basic resources, work and volunteer opportunities, insurance programs, financial supportive services, health promotion and disease prevention programs, housing, crisis intervention, and other home and community programs. New Jersey’s initiative also includes streamlining the long-term care financial eligibility and pre-admission screening infrastructure, and developing an information technology strategy that simplifies the system for consumers and allows the State to manage better its long-term care resources.
“We look forward to working closely with our aging and disability services’ network partners in Atlantic and Warren Counties and statewide so that these centers provide optimal access, advocacy and assistance to those in need of long-term care,” said Dr. Lacy.
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Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360