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COVID-19 law sparks dialogue on nursing home alternatives

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Posted at 12:14 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 13:09:11-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The memory of the coronavirus pandemic’s awful toll in nursing homes is still raw. Now, the COVID-19 relief law is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing disabled people. Advocates hope the estimated $12.7 billion will accelerate what has been a steady shift to supporting elderly and disabled people and their overwhelmed families in everyday settings. But the money for state Medicaid programs, long in coming, will only be available over four calendar quarters this year and next. That’s raising concerns it will have only fleeting impact, given competing priorities.