LeadingAge asks CMS to test new model for integrated senior care

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LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan
LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan

A revolutionary, integrated long-term care model should be tested on a wide scale at a national level, LeadingAge proposed last week.

The industry association has “urged” the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to consider its person-centered Integrated Service Delivery system for the aging in a letter to Amy Bassano, acting deputy administrator for innovation and quality & acting director Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

LeadingAge also outlined its vision for future, community-based care organizations that help seniors in an 18-page public report issued Thursday.

Community-based hubs promote senior care integration and keep it affordable, the organization said. Instead of putting seniors (and potential funding streams) into silos, LeadingAge wants policymakers to consider reforms that let long-term service and support providers play a larger role in serving adults with chronic conditions.

In some cases, those long-term care providers would direct local hubs that connect patients to the care they need through a holistic approach — rather than simply responding to symptoms or medical crises as they emerge.

“The integrated service model that LeadingAge envisions will address the needs of all older adults, not just those with high needs and high costs,” wrote LeadingAge vice president of health policy and integrated services and report author Nicole Fallon. “The ultimate goal of this broader population focus is to reduce the number of older adults who develop high needs and high costs, while also slowing the growth of Medicaid and other public financing.”

The plan features five dynamics, including pooled funding and risk sharing; service facilitators as single points of contact for individual patients; comprehensive assessment and single-service plans that go beyond traditional medical needs; comprehensive service coordination that depends on improved technology; and robust quality assurance measures.

LeadingAge advanced many of those same concepts in its November letter to Bassano, which was in response to CMS's request for recommendations on industry improvements.

LeadingAge spokeswoman Lisa Sanders said Friday that it will share the proposal with policy makers and encourage members to brainstorm about implementation strategies during the Peak leadership summit in March.