Researchers cite four ways to include long-term care more effectively in healthcare reform efforts

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A new report released Thursday by Georgetown University researchers, in association with The SCAN Foundation, presents four possible options for including long-term care services and supports in reform legislation.

In the report, authors argue that the cost-effectiveness of health and long-term care services can be improved through increased home- and community-based care services and better coordination of healthcare delivery in facilities. Their specific suggestions include expanding Medicaid HCBS programs; improving care coordination for dual-eligibles-seniors who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid; improving care coordination for seniors with chronic conditions; and establishing a public long-term care insurance program.

Although the current version of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee reform bill contains a program that would establish a national disability insurance benefit to help pay for long-term care in the event of a disability, long-term care services and supports have largely been overlooked in the healthcare debate. (McKnight's, 6/5) To view the SCAN report, "Long-Term Care in Health Care Reform: Policy Options to Improve Both," visit www.thescanfoundation.org.

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