The delivery of publicly-funded long-term care services differs considerably from state to state. Currently, in most states, long-term care functions and operations are dispersed throughout state government. This often results in confusion for consumers as they try to deal with a variety of programs and procedures scattered throughout many different state agencies. To ease this process, many state officials are exploring several strategies, one of which includes the consolidation of long-term care programs, policies and budgets within one state agency.
This AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper provides readers with:
- An examination of a consolidated agency approach, by studying the structure of such an agency, reviewing the arguments for consolidation, and the barriers to achieving it
- A description of how several states accomplished consolidation
- A checklist of steps toward consolidation to serve as a resource for state policymakers considering a move toward such a model
The authors find that a consolidated agency can bring about consistent policymaking and focus the system on persons with disabilities rather than on program providers. Although many LTC reforms can occur in states without a single consolidated agency and are being developed in many states today, they conclude that comprehensive system reform is much more likely to happen in states with consolidated agencies. (27 pages)