Given the latest budget projections, this is the year for the state to make more progress in rebalancing long-term support services from institutionalized care, such as nursing homes, to home- or community-based care services.
LTSS is the most expensive aspect of Medicaid, which also happens to be the most costly line item in the state budget. These services provide vital support for some of our most vulnerable citizens, and our aging Baby Boomer generation will lead to even more people requiring LTSS.
The goal of some legislative proposals is not to cut away any of these state services, but to help redistribute clients towards community-based care and improve the residential care homes for those who still require this higher level of care.
At present, roughly 60% of those who are receiving long-term care doing so at home or in a community-based system, while 40% receive care in an institutionalized setting.
A study and report released by the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century included recommendations on how to improve LTSS.
According to CT21, increasing the percentage of those who receive these services in home or in a community-based setting from 60% to 75% could produce a savings of $657 million for the state over the next few years.
Increasing the percentage of those who receive these services in home or in a community-based setting could produce a savings of $657 million for the state over the next few years.
Clients of long-term services would benefit by being able more apt to receive the care in the comfort of their own homes, dramatically increasing the quality of life of service recipients.
Potential economic benefits in CT21’s recommendation include developing a plan to increase the size of the LTSS workforce to be able to facilitate the growing demand for at home care.
This workforce expansion is predicted to create about 13,700 new jobs for healthcare workers as well as provide current home care workers with stronger benefits and protections.
Another CT21 recommendation expands awareness of these programs to individuals who may require this form of care so that more people may choose to be cared for at home rather than in an institutionalized setting.
CBIA views these proposals as a win-win not only for those requiring care, but for the state as well, with a projected savings of $657 million for the state and the implementation of a structure that allows for choice, more efficient, and more comfortable care for those who require long-term services.