On Thursday, the federally-appointed Commission on Long-Term Care completed work on a package of recommendations to be included in a final report on long-term services and supports that will be submitted to Congress by Sept. 30.
The bipartisan Commissioners voted on Sept. 12 in favor of the recommendations, which are meant to renew national discussion regarding how to address the issues and challenges of the aging American population. The vision is to create “a more responsive, integrated, person-centered, and fiscally sustainable LTSS delivery system that ensures people can access quality services in settings they choose.”
Recommendations range from long term care delivery to the workforce to how to pay for supports and services, including suggested improvements to Medicaid and Medicare.
One recommendation is to remove the three-day-stay rule at hospitals for Medicare beneficiaries to get coverage for skilled nursing facility care, something industry trade groups such as the American Health Care Association have long been advocating for.
Technology is mentioned as a way to more effectively mobilize and integrate community resources and share information among care providers, families, and those in need of care across various settings.
Payment reform could be achieved by changing federal reimbursement models to pay for post-acute sand long-term care services on the basis of the service, rather than the setting, the Commissioners suggest.
Quality across all care settings is emphasized in the recommendations, which suggest “particular attention” for home- and community-based services.
“The report includes important policy proposals surrounding what happens after a patient receives critical post-acute care,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA. “Helping individuals return to their communities in the best functioning level possible after using long term services and supports is a key goal of our profession, and we are pleased to see such substantive recommendations to push their implementation.”
Nine Commissioners, including Dr. Bruce Chernof, the Commission’s Chair, voted “yea,” with the remaining six dissenting. The Commission, created as part of a fiscal cliff law that repealed the CLASS Act, has been tasked with advising Congress on how best to achieve long-term care reform.
“This is an issue that has been brewing for decades, and this heterogeneous group had less than 100 days to craft solutions,” said Chernof in a statement. “I am pleased that a majority of the Commission has agreed on a number of thoughtful recommendations that serve as a launching pad for future action by Congress and the Administration… We must work to improve our approach to serving Americans with functional and cognitive limitations and their families, realizing that the time to act is now.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace