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Spotlight on Innovation: First Step In-Home 90-Day Program

We're highlighting cutting-edge programs and successful strategies of our 2017 Aging Innovation Award Winners with this spotlight feature. This week we shine a spotlight on Central Plains Area Agency on Aging (CPAAA), winner in the Home & Community-Based Services category.

In July 2014, CPAAA launched the First Step program to facilitate a safe and smooth transition back to the community for newly discharged patients of acute care hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes or Medicare home health agencies. The program assists community members during this critical time period to reduce the possibility of re-hospitalization.

The program covers the cost of personal care, homemaker services and care management for the first 90 days after discharge or upon referral from a Medicare home health agency. The care management component assists clients with coordination of long-term services and supports, home accessibility issues and applications for Medicaid or other publicly funded programs. Additionally, the program assists clients with issues such as hoarding, bug infestations, nutrition, access to meals, medication management and more.

The program covers the cost of assessment, case management, attendants and homemakers using existing OAA Title III B in-home funding, a model that many AAAs can replicate by modifying traditional in-home programs to develop a short-term transition program.

On average, First Step serves 30 new clients each month, with an overall caseload of 90 clients. The most significant outcomes identified through post-program surveys are improvements in clients' mental and physical health (80 percent) and a 15 percent re-hospitalization rate, which is lower than average.

Since winning the 2017 Aging Innovation Award, the program is steadily adding more clients and has garnered additional media attention from local news stations and The Active Age, a regional newspaper exploring the issues and information needs of older adults. Sedgwick County also recognized the program on its televised County Commission meeting and its quarterly employee recognition event. CPAAA hopes to use the program's success and recognition as a springboard for future private pay and medical partnership initiatives.

To learn more about this year's winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners!

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