Pelosi appoints three senior care experts to Commission on Long-Term Care

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday named three people to the bipartisan long-term care commission created as part of January's fiscal cliff deal. On the House floor, Pelosi announced the appointment of Bruce Chernof, M.D., the president of the SCAN Foundation; Judith Stein, founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy; and George Vradenburg, founder of USAgainst Alzheimer's and president of the Vrandenburg Foundation. Created as part of the same legislation that repealed the CLASS Act, the commission is tasked with proposing “comprehensive, coordinated, and high-quality” systems for ensuring reliable long-term care. However, some LTC stakeholders fear the panel's recommendations will not spur new policy. 

 

The trio brings a long list of long-term care credentials. Prior to founding the CMA in 1986, Stein co-directed the organization Legal Assistance to Medicare Patients. She was co-counsel to the plaintiff in the recent high-profile case Jimmo v. Sebelius. A judge recently approved the settlement in that case, affirming that in many cases, skilled maintenance care will be covered by Medicare.


Finding cures or more effective treatments for diseases should play an important role in Medicare cost containment, Vradenburg stated in a January blog entry for the Huffington Post.

 

Finally, Chernof explicitly addressed the work of the commission in a Health Affairs blog last month. “A solid place for the commission to start is to define the one-to-two top policy goals for developing a national and rational long-term care financing strategy, and then quickly wrestle with the pros and cons of the core policy parameters and their potential configurations to carry it out,” he wrote.

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