Baucus: Shift funding from facilities to home

Share this content:
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) provoked criticism from the long-term care community last month when he suggested that the next Congress consider policies to “shift the focus” from institutional care to home- and community-based care. Baucus said it could improve care quality and cut national healthcare expenditures.

American Health Care Association officials disagreed, adding such policies could jeopardize quality care for the most vulnerable, and would not cut costs.

Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, offered the measure last month as part of a larger healthcare reform package titled, “Call to Action Health Reform 2009.” In his “white paper,” he detailed specific policy options for consideration by the 111th Congress.

Universal healthcare coverage is a part of his blueprint. He proposes creating a nationwide insurance pool called the Health Insurance Exchange, which would allow those needing coverage to compare and purchase the plans of their choice. His plan also would make healthcare coverage available to Americans ages 55 to 64 through a Medicare buy-in. 

Meanwhile, the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care complimented Baucus for including post-acute and long-term care components in his proposal. It also urged reforming Medicare's post-acute care financing structure to control healthcare costs and enhance quality.