Late in December, the White House released the 2015 report for its conference that was held in July. A wide range of topics were discussed, with one key section in particular of interest – Long-Term Services and Supports. The report notes three themes that cover the topics discussed by participants:
- Promote Person-Centered Care that Maximizes Independence and Choice – The report notes that aging adults want to make choices regarding their care and be able to live as independently as possible. This means that more home- and community-based service (HCBS) options would be welcome for this growing population. Coordinating care across all settings is integral to the success of these services and to ensuring high-quality of care is achieved.
- Provide Greater Support for Paid and Family Caregivers – The growing population of aging Americans means there is a growing need for caregivers. The report notes that the majority of caregivers are unpaid caregivers such as family members, and that a direct-care workforce should be built. New direct care staff should have better training and increased compensation to recognize the contribution that they are making.
- Address the Patchwork of Services and Funding Streams – The report notes that one of the most discussed topics was that there needs to be a comprehensive long term care payment reform to assist with providing continuity of care through the whole cycle of caregiving – from acute through the return to the community.
Of course, the set of proposed changes to the long term care facility conditions of participation was one of the most widely discussed topics last year, and it is mentioned as one of the key Federal announcements from the conference. In keeping with the themes mentioned above, these proposed rules would foster improved quality of life, create more resident-centered care, address resident safety and ensure that the regulations are in line with current professional standards.