On Oct. 30, AARP's Public Policy Institute hosted a congressional briefing discussing how the modernization of Medicaid is helping to enable people who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) to live where they choose, including in their own homes and communities. This discussion comes at a time of growing bipartisan support for changing Medicaidâ€™s requirement to fund LTSS in nursing homes while funding home and community-based services (HCBS) on a limited and optional basis. In addition to restricting choice, the half-century old provision makes it difficult to meet a growing demand for LTSS in a cost-effective way.
The recent federal Commission on Long-Term Care called for building a system that promotes services for persons with functional limitations in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their needs. A major step toward accomplishing this goal would be to reform Medicaid to put coverage for HCBS on par with coverage for nursing homes. The discussion was divided into two panels. The first focused on policy options and the second on lessons learned in the states.
Speakers and Panelists Included:
G. Lawrence Atkins
Long-Term Care Commission Staff Director
President, National Academy of Social Insurance
Senior Vice President for Long-Term Care and Nutrition, Independent Living Systems, LLC
Former Assistant Secretary for Aging
Executive Vice President, American Association of People with Disabilities
Former Director, HHS Office of Disability
Professor, Institute for Health & Aging
University of California, San Francisco
Charles J. Milligan, Jr.
Deputy Secretary, Health Care Financing
Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Operations Administrator, Acute and Long-Term Care
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
Read the Report by the Commission on Long-Term Carehere.