Rebalancing Connecticut's long-term care system could improve healthcare delivery and create some significant state budget savings—ideas being pursued by the state and the subject of recent and upcoming reports.

Rebalancing long-term care primarily means de-emphasizing institutional care and when possible increasing the use of home-based and community-based care—options preferable to more people and less expensive to provide.

With Connecticut’s graying population and the growing awareness of meeting some resident’s special needs—including a broad range of individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities—long-term care is a forefront issue.

And with the state budget continuing to have problems making ends meet, Connecticut is reviewing how to fund big-ticket items—such as long-term care, corrections, and state employee benefits.

In 2013, Governor Malloy unveiled a Strategic Plan to Rebalance Long-Term Services and Supports, which included state and federal funds that the administration said “marks the first step in a rebalancing plan to expand long-term care services and reduce spending on costly institutional care … [and] help the nursing home industry adapt to the changing needs of elders and other adults with disabilities.”

The Medicaid system continues to makes access to institutional care and nursing homes easier than to home or community based care.
The state has set a goal of rebalancing long-term care to 75% home/community based care vs. 25% institutional care.

A few years ago, the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century studied the issue, and said if Connecticut were to achieve the 75/25 rebalancing by 2025, it would produce $900 million in annual savings to the state.

While the state is making progress on achieving the rebalancing, Connecticut’s current system doesn't yet provide fully responsive choice nor manage costs as well as possible.

The Medicaid system continues to makes access to institutional care and nursing homes easier than to home or community based care.

Most of those requiring care would probably prefer that care take place in their homes or a community-based setting when feasible.

From an economic standpoint, home care is not only preferable but less expensive than institutional care.

Another report on the subject of long-term care, from AARP, is due to be released soon.

Providing appropriate, preferred long term care to those requiring it at optimal cost is in everyone's best interest.

For more information, email or call CBIA’s Louise DiCocco at (860 244.1169).