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New AARP Report Finds Mixed Results Among State Governments' Efforts to Balance Long Term Care Services Under Medicaid
Date:7/11/2008

In New York, the majority of Medicaid LTC Funds dedicated to Nursing Homes

NEW YORK, July 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report by AARP's Public Policy Institute finds mixed results and promising signs among state government efforts to balance long-term care (LTC) options under Medicaid. According to the report, only four states spent more than 50 percent of their Medicaid LTC dollars for older people providing home and community based services. In New York State, 74% of Medicaid LTC dollars for older people and adults with physical disabilities who have limited financial resources are spent on nursing homes.

The report, A Balancing Act: State Long-Term Care Reform, is the first to examine Medicaid spending on long-term care for older people and adults with physical disabilities, separate from other LTC users such as people with developmental disabilities.

Nationally, 75 percent of Medicaid LTC spending for older people and adults with physical disabilities pays for institutional care in nursing homes. In contrast, states have done a much better job balancing Medicaid LTC for people with developmental disabilities, spending just 39 percent on institutional care. The majority of funds now support people in home and community-based settings.

"We recognize the success state Medicaid programs are having providing home and community based services to people with developmental disabilities," said Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State Director. "It proves that balancing long-term care is doable and should be used as a model to help states provide home and community based services for older adults."

Also highlighted in the report are best practices from states that are making progress balancing LTC options. Alaska, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico spent more than 50 percent of their Medicaid LTC budget for older people and adults with physical disabilities in 2006 on HCBS. These states embraced a philosophy of delivering ser
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SOURCE AARP
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