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Feds OK $58M in Minnesota spending for elderly home care

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As part of an effort to move Minnesotans on Medicaid away from expensive institutional care, the federal government has given Minnesota approval to spent $58 million in state money in the next four years on home care for seniors and people with disabilities, the state Department of Human Services announced.

The initiative is part of the state's Reform 2020 program, which the state describes as a nation-leading new way to offer long-term care services.

"Minnesotans deserve the choice to live with dignity, and get the quality care they need in their own homes for as long as possible," Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said in announcing the news this week.

As part of Reform 2020, more money will be funneled to support services for people with disabilities in job searches, the Associated Press notes.

In all, transformation of the state's long-term care system is expected to save and reinvest an estimated $121 million over the next four years, state officials say. Other key components of the initiative are still awaiting federal approval, they say.

Minnesota in 2011 was ranked the top state in the nation for long-term care for seniors in a report that examined affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and care, and support for family caregivers.

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