Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf visited the Stephen Foster Community Center in Lawrenceville to announce Community HealthChoices, a program to improve services for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians that will launch in 14 southwest Pennsylvania counties in January 2018. The governor was joined by Teresa Miller, Acting Secretary for the Department of Human Services; Teresa Osborne, Secretary of the Department of Aging; and Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive.
“Since I became Governor, my administration has been focused on improving health care across Pennsylvania, making it better and more convenient for patients and practitioners alike,” Governor Wolf said. “We spoke to those touched by our health care programs to hear how we could improve the care they get, and we found that one of the most important priorities was the ability to get high quality care close to home. Community HealthChoices delivers that ability to our patients, our seniors, and those with disabilities.”
Community HealthChoices will help seniors age at home and receive quality health care services there and in their communities.
The new, mandatory managed care program will serve people age 21 and older who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid or with physical disabilities, and will allow them to get access to high quality care in their communities – and in some cases even in their homes.
“Community HealthChoices will improve service delivery for some of our most vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors,” said Secretary Miller. “This transition will allow hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to a managed care program that will coordinate the care they need to have a voice and choice in where they live.”
Community HealthChoices, as a program, was developed in partnership between the commonwealth’s Department of Aging and Department of Human Services and included ideas and components from hundreds of stakeholders, including the Area Agencies on Aging, senior and disability advocates, providers, future program participants, and participant caregivers.
“Under the Older Americans Act, our network of 52 local Area Agencies on Aging is charged with assisting older adults to live with independence and dignity in their homes and communities,” said Secretary Osborne. “The Wolf Administration’s implementation of Community HealthChoices represents an exciting opportunity for the aging network to help us better coordinate and deliver effective and efficient long-term services and supports that will enable older Pennsylvanians to live and age well at home.”
Once it is fully implemented, CHC will give Pennsylvanians access to high quality care to meet their needs, right in their home communities, with the added bonus of potential cost savings over care provided in nursing facilities.
CHC will complete its statewide rollout by bringing the program to Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2019 and throughout the remainder of the state in 2020.
“This phased rollout will give us time to listen to patients and hear their experience with the program so that by 2020 we will be delivering the best local care possible to hundreds of thousands of seniors and patients across the commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said.
For more information on Community HealthChoices, visit dhs.pa.gov.