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Under a program enacted in Washington state this spring, workers can get up to $36,500 to help pay for long-term health care and services such as installing grab bars in the shower or respite care for family caregivers.
New programs, known as ACOs, reward hospitals and physician groups that hold down costs by keeping enrollees healthy. The health care providers are asked to address social issues — such as homelessness, lack of transportation and poor nutrition — that can cause and exacerbate health problems.
The federal health law includes a provision that allows states to alter some of its rules if they can think of a better way to provide health care to their residents, but it’s not clear how far outside the box states can go.