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Home and Community Based Services are Important to Older SC Residents

Individuals enrolled in a Community Choices wavier program must meet criteria for nursing home care, but choose to remain in their own home. Community Choices recipients receive support services such as meals, personal care aides, transportation, some assistance with ramps or other assistive devices, and other services to help the individual to stay at home.

Research shows that states that invest in home and community-based services over time, slow their rate of Medicaid spending growth, compared to states that remain reliant on nursing home care.

The number of individuals placed on the Community Choices waiver wait list had a substantial jump in 2010 after several years of a steady decline. With state budget cuts, waiting lists for home and community based services is at its highest ever at 4,000.

Consider the Facts:

  • The average number of monthly nursing home residents in 2010 was approximately 11,000 and has remained at this level or higher over the past seven years.         
  • The ten year average cost for Community Long Term Care has risen slightly, approximately $10 as opposed to nursing home care that has jumped from below $80 in 1999 to around $110 today.
  • The average daily net paid claim in 2010 for a South Carolina Medicaid individual participant in a Community Choices waiver program was $32 compared to $127 for a nursing home.
  • An expenditure of approximately $600 to $1,500 per senior may result in a savings up to $40,429 ($12,129 state funds) per senior in Medicaid funded institutional long term care services per year.


Office on Aging studies show that those who receive home and community-based services and supports are less likely to be admitted to the emergency room or hospital than their counterparts without these services.

AARP South Carolina will be working in 2011 to make sure that funding is in place for home- and community- based service.

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