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Continuing Care Policy Committee Discusses Long-Term Care Reform with DOH

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Officials from the Department of Health (DOH) Office of Long Term Care (OLTC) met with HANYS’ Continuing Care Policy Committee today to discuss long-term care reform in New York State. DOH cited demographic trends, the complicated nature of the current long-term care delivery system, regional differences in needs and resources, transitions between care settings, and growing Medicaid expenditures for long-term care as critical challenges ahead.

HANYS’ members shared with DOH staff the innovations they are implementing to meet the current demands of providing care, particularly in the area of recruitment and retention of workforce. However, rising transportation costs for home care providers, limited career ladder opportunities for paraprofessionals, and an aging professional workforce are significant difficulties in attracting adequate staff.

Long-term care providers also highlighted for DOH officials the increasing acuity of patients being served in skilled nursing facilities, and the resulting changes to traditional long-term care necessitated by a shift toward more short-term rehabilitation in nursing homes. Providers emphasized to DOH the need for state policies to recognize and reflect changes to the evolving health care delivery system.

DOH acknowledged the need for regional solutions to be developed to reflect local needs and the importance of supporting informal and family caregivers. HANYS and continuing care members will continue to provide input to OLTC as they focus on long-term care reform. Rose Duhan

Published May 12, 2008