Long-term Services and Supports: A Rebalancing Act

The ongoing debate over the federal budget and deficit reduction presents a balancing act for policy makers, as many compelling interests compete for scarce dollars. But for 10 million older adults and people with disabilities who need long-term services and supports, there is a “rebalancing act” in progress. The aim is to serve more people at home and in the community, and fewer people in institutions.

States grappling with constrained budgets, at a time when the aging and disability populations are growing rapidly, are actively engaged in this “rebalancing” between institution and home in the hope of delivering high quality long-term services and supports at lower cost.

Are there sufficient home- and community-based programs in all states to address the aging population? To help the growing number of adults with disabilities? How can incentives in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be used to develop new approaches in home- and community-based services? How effective are existing federal initiatives to promote care in home- and community-based settings, such as the “Money Follows the Person” program? What can ongoing state efforts to promote community-based options tell us about the impact on costs, on promoting greater choice of settings and providers, and on adequate support for family caregivers?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored an October 3 luncheon briefing.  The podcast of the briefing is now available online courtesy of Kaiser Family Foundation.  Click here to download the podcast and supporting materials.

Bob Hornyak, Administration on Aging
Cynthia Woodcock, Impaq and formerly Hilltop Institute
Carol Raphael, Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Mary Jane Koren, The Commonwealth Fund
Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform