The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should help federal agencies work together to ensure that government resources related to home- and community-based services (HCBS) are used effectively and efficiently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends in a new report.
Five agencies within four federal departments fund HCBS so that older adults can age in place, according to the GAO. In HHS, the Administration on Aging’s Administration for Community Living as well as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services fund nutrition services, in-home services and transportation. In the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Multi-Family Housing Programs funds affordable housing initiatives. The Department of Transportation funds transportation programs. And the Department of Agriculture funds nutrition services.
Through an HHS strategy, the GAO said, these agencies could “define common outcomes for affordable housing with supportive services, non-medical transportation, and nutrition assistance at the federal level; develop lessons learned for the local networks that area agencies on aging and community-based organizations are forming; and develop strategies for leveraging limited resources.”