State Pushes Medicaid Toward In-Home Care, Away From Nursing Homes

Tennessee is expanding changes made to its state Medicaid program that allow beneficiaries to receive in-home care rather than moving to nursing care facilities. The program, TennCare, currently serves between 8,500 and 11,000 people and the program aims to increase that number to up to 15,000 this year.

“Statewide, we have moved from 17% of people receiving home-based care to 31% of our people receiving home-based care,” Patti Killingsworth, an assistant commissioner of TennCare, told the Tennessean. “We have every expectation that [Medicaid] will approve this. They are very supportive of states’ efforts for home and community-based services and to rebalance the system. We absolutely believe that approval will be forthcoming.”

The increase is expected to save more than $4 million upon approval, which would allow for more in-home care beginning July 1, the Tennesseean reports, noting that the yearly cap for the home-based and other services is the cost of a year’s stay in a nursing home.


Tennessee first moved away from institutional care and toward in-home care in 2008 upon the approval of the Long-Term Community Choices Act. CMS gave its sign of approval a year following, and the program launched in 2010.

Read the Tennesseean report.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker