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Long-Term Care and Chronic Care Policy Advances Adopted by the Health Care Reform Bill

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 General News J E 4
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LONG BEACH, Calif., April 6 The SCAN Foundation released today a report by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) analyzing provisions of the recently enacted health care bill that advance improvements in the continuum of care for seniors. These include an array of initiatives adopted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to bolster services that help seniors avoid nursing home placement, enhance coordination of care and finance long-term services and supports through a new public insurance program.

"The newly passed legislation lays the foundation for greatly improving the full continuum of health and long-term care services for seniors," said Bruce Chernof, MD, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. "It does not encompass the entire scope of reforms needed, but it does make important progress toward transforming health care and social service delivery systems to become more aligned with seniors' needs."

Among the policy advances addressed by the report are a ground-breaking public, voluntary long-term care insurance program self financed by enrollees, and numerous incremental reforms aimed at increasing the availability of Medicaid-funded home-and community-based services. It also analyzes the various service delivery system demonstrations authorized in the Medicare and Medicaid programs that will test ways of improving care coordination for seniors with multiple chronic conditions.

The health care bill begins to tackle the challenge of achieving better integration of health and long-term services and supports for seniors and adults with disabilities who qualify for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, known as "dual eligibles." As described in the report, a new office within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will work with federal and state officials who administer these two programs to ensure that dual eligible beneficiaries have full access to the services they are entitled to and eliminate policy barriers to coordinating a continuum of care for low income seniors.

The report "Long Term Service and Supports and Chronic Care Coordination: Policy Advances Enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" is available at www.thescanfoundation.org or at www.nashp.org.

ABOUT THE SCAN FOUNDATION

The SCAN Foundation is an independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to advancing the development of a sustainable continuum of quality care for seniors that integrates medical treatment and human services in the settings most appropriate to their needs and with the greatest likelihood of a healthy, independent life. The SCAN Foundation supports programs that stimulate public engagement, develop realistic public policy and financing options, and disseminate promising care models and technologies. For more information about The SCAN Foundation, visit www.thescanfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY FOR STATE HEALTH POLICY The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is an independent academy of state health policy makers working together to identify emerging issues, develop policy solutions, and improve state health policy and practice. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping states achieve excellence in health policy, NASHP provides a forum on critical health and long-term care issues spanning across branches and agencies of state government. NASHP resources are available at: www.nashp.org.

SOURCE The SCAN Foundation
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