AARP Releases Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard
AARP Releases LTSS Scorecard
The second State Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard from AARP, The Commonwealth Fund, and The SCAN Foundation provides an eye-opening report on each state’s LTSS system. It presents an opportunity for all of us as health care professionals to work together to develop improved programs and services focused on helping individuals thrive in their homes and communities.
The scorecard measures 26 indicators across five dimensions: (1) affordability and access, (2) choice of setting and provider, (3) quality of life and quality of care, (4) support for family caregivers, (5) effective transitions.
Findings show progress, such as with Medicaid safety nets, but widespread disparities still exist across states. Moreover, the slow pace of progress isn’t enough to keep up with anticipated demand. The affordability of long-term care also hasn’t improved. Many individuals spend their entire savings and then must apply for Medicaid to receive help.
The good news: individuals across the long-term care continuum almost always want to remain in their home, and states with an infrastructure to support this ranked among the highest. The top five states allocated 62.5% of dollars to home- and community-based services, whereas the five states ranking lowest allocated only 16.7%.
Top-ranking Minnesota can serve as a model with efforts to improve LTSS including:
- Increasing quality by offering providers new incentives
- Offering greater assistance for individuals who want to move from nursing homes to homes of their own
- Providing comprehensive information and referral services for individuals and family caregivers
- Supporting core community services to help people remain in their homes
- Increasing flexibility in consumer choice and tailoring supports to fit individual needs
- Promoting competitive employment for people with disabilities
- Implementing a strong adult protection system
- Support “Own Your Future”, a program that helps individuals plan for long-term care
Minnesota’s full press release can be found here: https://mn.gov/governor/newsroom
The key to improving long-term care services and supports centers on partnerships between all stakeholders involved – state agencies, providers, individuals and family caregivers, and community service organizations.
The scorecard findings are a great starting point for discussion. What do you think of the findings and what can we do to improve things?
S. C. Reinhard, E. Kassner, A. Houser, K. Ujvari, R. Mollica, and L. Hendrickson, Raising Expectations, 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers, AARP, The Commonwealth Fund, and The SCAN Foundation, June 2014