Early Successes Can Drive State Budget Reforms

02.12.2016
Issues & Policies

Proposals contained in Gov. Malloy’s budget adjustments acknowledge both the long-term fiscal problems facing Connecticut and ways to make state budgeting more predictable, sustainable, and helpful to our economy.
Residential-Care_012913.jpgThe governor’s reforms would significantly change how the state operates and budgets, and reflect sentiments long expressed by the state’s business community and often identified by the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century.
Some of the governor’s reforms push into new areas, but businesses are encouraging the state to also press ahead where it’s already succeeding—such as in long-term healthcare, Lean efficiency practices, and corrections.
Healthy choices
As CT21 and AARP have separately reported, the state can reap impressive savings and improved services by rebalancing the use of institutional care versus home- or community-based care for long-term healthcare, where appropriate.
The latter two types of care not only produce savings but offer greater levels of comfort to those receiving care.
Already the state is heading toward achieving its goal of a 75% home-based versus 25% institutional care, but it needs to pick up the pace.
According to one estimate, Connecticut will see a net increase of 70,000 clients accessing long-term care services by 2025. The state needs to be ready for that wave.
AARPChartAARP’s study of rebalancing long-term healthcare found that “for the cost of serving just one person in a nursing facility, the state could serve nearly three eligible individuals in the community.”
The study for AARP by Health Management Associates explained that the average monthly institutional care per Medicaid client was about $5,800, while care for someone participating in the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders was, on average, just $1,985.
Now is the time to achieve, and even exceed, the 75-25 balance goal. Next week, CT21 will release an update of its study on long-term healthcare.

An AARP study found that for the cost of serving just one person in a nursing facility, the state could serve nearly three eligible people in the community.

Lean on
The business community is also pleased to see a commitment to Lean initiatives throughout state government.
A recent report from the Office of Policy and Management shows that 40 state agencies have conducted Lean initiatives to some degree, producing efficiencies and savings.
With that success in hand, state government should now make a full commitment to Lean practices, especially in the state’s biggest-cost programs.
Second chance
The same goes for the Governor’s Second Chance initiative that’s helping to reform both lives and the state’s corrections spending. It’s a very good start that should be enhanced.
The General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee will be holding public hearings over the next couple of weeks regarding the Governor’s budget adjustments.
These hearings are the opportunity to urge these proposals be adopted by the legislature to make Connecticut more economically competitive.
CBIA will be testifying at the hearings with our recommendations--many based on the CT21 Sustainable Spending Reforms.
For more information about state spending, contact CBIA’s Louise DiCocco (203.589.6515) | 

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