House bill would define, promote coordinated long-term care services

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A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would target improved care coordination for seniors, also adding it under the Older Americans Act.

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) said she introduced the “Care Coordination for Older Americans Act of 2014” to build upon the strengths and weaknesses of the Older Americans Act.

While the bill, first enacted close to 50 years ago, targets improving the lives of seniors, it fails to look at the need for care coordination, which leads to preventable medical problems, Schwartz said.

“Improved coordination of care between health and social services is essential to ensuring that seniors can live healthier lives,” she said.

If passed, the bill would:

  • Add care coordination in the Declaration of Objectives of the Older American Act
  • Define care coordination with the inclusion of medical and social services
  • Promote the development and implementation of care coordination plans for older individuals with multiple chronic illnesses
  • Direct the collaboration between states, Aging and Disability Resource Center, Area Agencies on Aging, service providers, healthcare providers, medical entities

“This bill ensures that consumers, assessment agencies, resource centers and providers work together to coordinate care with the consumer at the center of the discussion,” said Ron Barth, president and CEO of LeadingAge PA.

Schwartz introduced a similar bill in 2012.

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