This is an idea that I have thought would be coming along. It combines the desireability of remaining outside of an assisted living facility and reduced costs to the Veterans Adminisration. Look for these pilot programs to begin poppig up in the medicaid arena as well.
The federal government's ambitious new drive to cut costs and improve care for disabled military veterans begins not in a big-city hospital, but here in small-town Arkansas, in a tidy brick bungalow set back from a country road. Daffodils bloom outside the bungalow, and a ginger-and-white cat snoozes on the stoop. Inside, Roy Strange, a 90-year-old Army vet, stretches out in a recliner to watch a video about model trains. Mr. Strange suffers several combat-related ailments from his service in World War II and is thus eligible for subsidized nursing-home care, paid for entirely by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Instead, he chooses to spend his own money to stay in this "medical foster home," run by private caretakers, Cristina and Cornell Onecic. The home is one of hundreds across the country that take in veterans who can't care for themselves, but don't want to live in an institution. The vets pay the foster family's expenses, while the VA covers the costs of regular visits from health-care providers, such as nurses, therapists and dietitians. The result is dramatically lower costs—the VA pays just about $52 a day for patients in foster homes, compared with an average of $469 for those in nursing homes. And many vets like Mr. Strange say they're far happier. The medical foster-home program began in Arkansas a decade ago but remained a pilot project until its director, Thomas Edes, began aggressively promoting it as a way to cut costs and boost the quality of life for severely disabled vets. In 2008, Congress set aside $9 million to expand the program. Last year, that expansion began, with the VA bringing programs to 19 states and Puerto Rico, and Dr. Edes aims to launch still more medical foster homes this year.
Source: Wall St. Journal (April 13, 2010)
Full story: http://online.wsj.com/article