Image of nurses' hands at computer keyboard

With about a month to go before voting on policy recommendations, the Congressional Commission on Long-Term Care has drafted the first parts of its report, commission staff director G. Lawrence Atkins, Ph.D., said Tuesday.

The commissioners developed a detailed outline for a three-chapter report and the first two chapters are drafted, Atkins said during a conference call hosted by the Friday Morning Collaborative, a coalition of 35 aging and disability organizations.

The first chapter of the report summarizes existing and anticipated long-term care challenges, and the second chapter analyzes specific issues related to finance, service delivery and the long-term care workforce, according to Atkins. In the third chapter, the commissioners will make their policy recommendations.

Congress tasked the commission with drafting policy recommendations for LTC reform in January, after it repealed the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.  

In meetings on Aug. 19 and 29, the commissioners will likely discuss and settle on their proposals, Atkins said. They will vote on the recommendations by Sept. 12. They must conclude all commission business by the end of September.

Due to time constraints, the commission will not be able to issue a draft version of the report for public comment, Atkins explained. Commissioner Julian Harris, M.D., resigned and most likely will not be replaced, bringing the panel down to 14, Atkins said.

Because the commission faces such a tight deadline, it is urging timely submission of public comments, Atkins said. Commissioner Henry Claypool, also on the call, specifically encouraged comments from those with an interest in long-term care for the disabled.

Claypool, executive vice president of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said additional input from this group of providers would help make the topic more prominent.

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