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Modernizing Medicaid: Putting Home and Community-Based Services on Equal Footing with Nursing Homes

October 30, 2013
Senate Russell Office Building, Room 325

This forum explored modernizing Medicaid to enable people who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) to live where they choose, including their own homes and communities.  The discussion comes at a time of growing bipartisan support for changing Medicaid’s requirement to fund LTSS in nursing homes while funding home and community-based services (HCBS) are funded only on a limited and optional basis.  In addition to restricting choice, the half-century old provision makes it difficult to meet a growing demand for LTSS in a cost-effective way.

The recent federal Commission on Long-Term Care called for building a system that promotes “services for persons with functional limitations in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their needs.”  A major step toward accomplishing this goal would be to reform Medicaid to put coverage for HCBS on par with coverage for nursing homes.  Speakers at this event discussed policy options for accomplishing this reform and lessons learned in individual states.

Speakers and Panelists:

G. Lawrence Atkins
Long-Term Care Commission Staff Director
President, National Academy of Social Insurance

Josefina Carbonell
Senior Vice President for Long-Term Care and Nutrition, Independent Living Systems, LLC
Former Assistant Secretary for Aging

Henry Claypool
Executive Vice President, American Association of People with Disabilities
Former Director, HHS Office of Disability

Stephen Kaye
Professor, Institute for Health & Aging
University of California, San Francisco

Charles J. Milligan, Jr.
Deputy Secretary, Health Care Financing
Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Susan Reinhard
AARP Senior Vice President
Director, AARP Public Policy Institute

Jami Snyder
Operations Administrator, Acute and Long-Term Care
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

Debra Whitman
AARP Executive Vice President
Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs