July 29, 2014 at 4:20 PM
AARP recently released the AARP Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard —“Raising Expectations”— which revealed wide disparities in care and support across the country. The report exposed a need for improvements in access home care, assisting living, nursing home care and other areas.
Recently, Scorecard released the results for New Jersey and some of the findings did not reflect well on state. The results ranked New Jersey 39th in the nation for ‘balancing’ institutional and home-based care. This is not a good rank. It essentially reflects the fact that only 25% of all state LTSS fund services (compared to national median of 31% and top state rate 65% ) where people want them the most—in their homes and communities, where such services are much less expensive than institutions. Increasing the LTSS spending rate to HCBS - (Home Community Based Services) from 25% will increase the rank and more importantly make the money well spent.
But there is progress on the horizon, thanks to Human Services Commissioner Jen Velez and her team. Their move to expand access to home and community services with 'Miller trusts' will help more elderly, disabled qualify for Medicaid services delivered outside of nursing homes. AARP is working with the State to fulfill the great need for such services—a need that is growing larger every day.
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