Massachusetts scores in the bottom half, at number 30, of all states when it comes to the overall affordability and quality of long-term services and supports (LTSS).
- home care
- adult day health services
- residential services such as assisted living and nursing homes
- respite care as well as other support for family caregivers
Ahead of the curve?
“This scorecard screams: More attention must be paid to long-term care services and support systems in Massachusetts,” says Deborah Banda, state director of AARP Massachusetts. “As a commonwealth, we pride ourselves as being ahead of the curve when it comes to health care reform, yet this critical piece seems to have been left in the dust.”
The report, entitled “Raising Expectations: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers”, looks at four key dimensions of LTSS performance:
- affordability and access
- choice of setting and provider
- quality of life and quality of care
- support for family caregivers
Room for improvementWhile there is definite room for improvement in all areas, Massachusetts ranks too close to the bottom when it comes to the cost of care and an overreliance on institutional care,” explains Banda. “We have a unique opportunity to address these issues now, as state leaders work to craft health care payment and systems delivery reform. Long-term services and support are part of health care delivery, across the continuum, and as such, should be included in payment reform discussions.”