Keeping Care at Home

Imagine having to move from your home and your loved ones to get the care that you need to survive. For many Americans, this becomes a reality at a time when moving to a care facility causes additional stress, confusion, and decline. Currently only a patchwork of a home and community-based services system exists through Medicaid waivers. The system is based on outdated laws and does not meet the needs of everyone requiring long-term services. It also does not sufficiently support the caregiver workforce.  Wouldn’t a system of less expensive home-based care be better in many situations?

Recently, the Offices of Senators Hassan, Brown, and Casey and Representative Dingell sought comments and suggestions from stakeholders on a draft bill called the Home and Community-Based Services Access Act. This bill would help to establish a criteria for the delivery of home and community-based services across the country. It would create a minimum standard of services nationally while states can enhance the services as part of Medicare. It would also assist states in creating a critical network of providers and homecare workers. Given the growing demand for these services, and the scarcity of a workforce, it is critical to create a strong, sustainable foundation for home and community-based services for people who need the care and those who can provide it.

As we work in our communities, states, and country to improve home and community-based services, let’s look for new and creative ways to ensure there is a foundation of care for our friends, neighbors, and family. We need workforce development, sufficient wages and benefits for caregivers, supports for family caregivers, and policy decisions that strengthen our care delivery system. We also need to ensure the continuation and expansion of successful programs such as Money Follow the Person and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Three things to learn about this week:

  1. Home and Community-based Services Access Act
  2. Money Follows the Person
  3. Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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