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Nixon Announces Expansion of Partnershipfor Hope

More Medicaid-eligible Missourians with disabilities will be able to receive services thru the state’s Partnership for Hope program. Governor Jay Nixon was in Springfield today to announce expansion of the program. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

Last October, county developmental disability boards across the state began enrolling Missourians with disabilities in Partnership for Hope, a program that provides home and community based services.Initially, the state planned to enroll 470 individuals to receive things like personal assistance, vocational training, transportation and extra support for their families to allow them to lead independent lives. Currently 400 Missourians are enrolled.Governor Nixon says this type of support leads to a better future for people with disabilities…

"Caring for a loved one with a developmental disability isn't easy. For too long, parents and caregivers, the wait simply becomes too long for too many of them. Pushed beyond the breaking point, institutional placement often becomes the only option."

Nixon says the idea behind Partnership for Hope is to end the wait for services and keep families together.The program provides up to $12,000 per enrollee per year for needed services.37 counties were involved when Partnership for Hope began last year, and, soon after, more counties requested to join.In December, Nixon authorized the Department of Mental Health to take the necessary steps to expand the partnership so that 500 more Missourians with developmental disabilities can be helped.Late last week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave its approval to expand Partnership for Hope.In total the program will now serve nearly 1000 individuals in 73 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis. These counties have been added in Southern Missouri: Dallas, Cedar, Dade, Lawrence, Vernon, Barton, Newton, McDonald, Stone, Ozark and Howell. Greene, Jasper and Taney counties were already members.Funding for the program comes from state, county and federal funds…

"This is a smart, sound and strategic investment of state resources--an investment that will make a real difference for Missouri families."

County developmental disability boards set criteria for enrollment and decide which individuals can enroll.Nixon says, once more funding becomes available, he hopes to add more counties to the Partnership for Hope.For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.