Older adults receiving long-term services and supports (LTSS) face huge challenges in navigating the fragmented health care system in the US. Multiple transitions among providers can have serious, negative consequences for this population. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established programs to attempt to address some of these hurdles, and while they show promise, a new study finds that there are considerable barriers to reducing costs and improving health and quality of life. The article, released June 20 as a Web First by Health Affairs, examines the impact of three provisions on older adults receiving LTSS – Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (Section 3025), the National Pilot Program on Payment Bundling (Section 3023), and the Community-Based Care Transitions Program (Section 3026). The analysis found that these three provisions inadequately address the unique needs of this population, and might lead to unintended consequences contributing to poor outcomes.
The article by Mary D. Naylor, Ellen T. Kurtzman, David C. Grabowski, Charlene Harrington, Mark McClellan, and Susan C. Reinhard will also appear in the July edition of Health Affairs. The research for this study was supported by a grant awarded to the Long-Term Quality Alliance by the Commonwealth Fund, a national, private foundation based in New York City that supports independent research on health care issues and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy. The views presented are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Commonwealth Fund, its directors, officers, or staff.