Tuesday, December 19, 2006

CMS PRTF: Alternatives to institutes for children with mental illness..

A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) press release..

December 19, 2006

With the proper supports, children institutionalized with mental illness that could thrive in their homes and communities will now have the opportunity to do so in 10 states that today received grants from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to design innovative new programs for such children.

The agency announced $218 million in grants over five years to state Medicaid programs to develop care delivery systems under the Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) demonstrations. The grants will provide a comprehensive package of community-based services for children with mental illness.

States receiving grants today estimate that, by 2011, 11,000 children with serious mental illnesses will benefit from the new programs these grants will fund. Those states receiving grants today include: Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina and Virginia. These states will receive a total of $21 million in the first year of the program, which will run through 2011.

"We believe these grants will result in a more caring, compassionate approach to meeting the needs of these children," said Leslie Norwalk, CMS Acting Administrator. "Integrating them back into their homes and communities gives them the best opportunity to lead successful, productive lives as adults."

Programs approved for funding under this demonstration will include 24-hour support and crisis intervention in the community setting, training for families, respite care for those families and after-school support programs for children in the demonstrations.

The demonstrations will be evaluated both for cost-effectiveness and quality of treatment and outcomes for the children involved.

Funds for these grant awards were included in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). Further information about this grant program is on the CMS web site at: Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities demonstration grant information.

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