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The Open Doors (MFP) Rebalancing Demonstration Grant is a federal program created as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006, and further extended as part of the Affordable Care Act, to assist states in shifting their Medicaid long-term care service and support system to support people with disabilities living in the community. The program seeks to promote rebalancing efforts toward which states increase the use of home and community-based services (HCBS) and reduce the use of institutionally-based services.

New York State was approved to be part of the demonstration grant beginning in 2007. The state's program, administered by the Department of Health (DOH), originally focused on assisting older adults and people with disabilities served by the DOH. In 2013, DOH expanded its program to include a partnership with the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) as they progressed toward their goal of reducing institutional placement for people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). More information on the State's demonstration can be found on the DOH MFP webpage and OPWDD Housing Providers and OPWDD Housing Services webpages.

In 2014, NYAIL was selected by the Department of Health to coordinate the Open Doors Transition Center Project and Peer Support Program as part of State's Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. The programs are funded through the MFP Federal Rebalancing Demonstration Grant. For more info about MFP, visit DOH's MFP webpage.

The goal of these projects is to increase the number of people in nursing homes and intermediate care facilities (ICF/IIDs) who are able to access home and community-based services. NYAIL is partnering with Independent Living Centers (ILCs) across the state to implement both programs. ILCs are disability-led grassroots organizations providing advocacy and supports to assist people with disabilities of all ages to live independently and fully integrated in their communities. The Independent Living philosophy emphasizes consumer control, the idea that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs and have the right to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities. Many ILCs run programs aimed at transitioning people out of nursing homes and providing person centered services for people with ID/DD. ILCs have a strong belief in the role of peers to promote independence, and because ILCs are primarily staffed by people with disabilities, all services provided are done so on a peer basis.

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Check out NYSDOH’s at-a-glance report on MFP, highlighting the work of NYAIL’s Open Doors program! (Download MFP Report PDF)

NYAIL's Open Doors Transition Center Project

NYAIL's Open Doors Transition Center Project has transition specialists at ILCs across the state to directly assist people in nursing homes access the services they need to return to the community. The transition specialists also work with people in ICF/IIDs who are moving to community settings or are transitioning to a model of increased community integration in their current home. For more information or to make a referral visit the Transition Center webpage.

NYAIL's Open Doors Peer Support Program

NYAIL's Open Doors Peer Support Program is designed to offer people who are considering or in the process of transitioning one-on-one support through the process by individuals who have lived the experience. These peers are willing to share their stories and real-world experience that demonstrates people with disabilities can and do live successfully in the community. For more information or to make a referral visit the Peer Support webpage.


 Open Doors Videos