KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Panel Chairman Describes ‘Narrow Window’ To Address Long-Term Care Issues

The Washington Post interviewed the chairman of a federal commission on long-term care, which released its recommendations to improve the system Wednesday. In the meantime, California eyes its own reforms.

The Washington Post: A 'Narrow Window' To Implement Long-Term Care Policy, Federal Commission Head Says
Over 12 million Americans today rely on long-term services and supports in their home or community or in an institution. That number is expected to swell as the baby boomer generation ages and the number of available caregivers dwindles. The Washington Post spoke with Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation and chair of the bipartisan federal Commission on Long-Term Care, which today released a report with recommendations for a targeted long-term care approach as America ages. Some had hoped the commission would develop a new public or private insurance program to help finance long-term care, but Chernof said that was not part of its mandate. The recommendations include new models of public payment, better communication with family members, better monitoring and training of caregivers, and creating a Medicare benefit for long-term care (Bahrampour, 9/18).

California Healthline: California Advocates Eagerly Awaiting Federal Report On Long-Term Care Issues
The federal Commission on Long-Term Care [Wednesday] is expected to release its comprehensive report on tactics and targets to improve care for the elderly, and that report could help focus attention on long-term care concerns in California. California has its own vision document for long-term care, developed by state officials two years ago. More specifically, the state is undertaking a major effort to overhaul care for seniors in California, and that project may be influenced by this federal attention, according to Jack Hailey, project manager at the Government Action and Communication Institute, a not-for-profit education and health advocacy group in Sacramento (Gorn, 9/18).

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