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The AARP Public Policy Institute's nonpartisan policy analysis focuses on issues of critical importance to older Americans and draws on the work of experts across the ideological spectrum.

Financial Security

Unlocking the Potential of Emergency Savings Accounts

Despite the United States being in the midst of a prolonged period of economic growth and record-low unemployment, a large share of Americans remain just one surprise event away from financial distress. This report focuses on emergency savings accounts as one potential solution to short-term financial fragility. 

Achieving Economies of Scale in State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs: The Case for Multi-State Collaboration

States have considered creating individual retirement savings programs that would serve only their own citizens. However, states should explore other models — ones based on a multi-state or regional approach that would enable participating states to provide even better services to their citizens.

A Look at College Costs across Generations

College costs have risen dramatically over the past several decades. This report compares college costs from 1964-1965 up through the present day, and examines how higher costs—and increased borrowing—may affect young workers’ future retirement security. 

The Student Loan Debt Threat: An Intergenerational Problem

Student loan debt is an intergenerational problem, burdening borrowers of all ages and threatening the long-term financial security of millions of families. This paper examines the landscape of student loan debt with a focus on older borrowers, including increasing loan balances, defaults, taking on debt to help family members, and the implication for long-term financial security.

Saving at Work for a Rainy Day: Perspectives from Employees

Today, a significant share of American households lack the financial resources to weather a modest financial setback. According to the Federal Reserve, four in ten American households could not come up with $400 in a financial emergency. This lack of liquid savings puts their short-term and long-term financial wellness at risk. The AARP Public Policy Institute fielded a national survey to test the appeal of a payroll-deduction rainy day savings program among employees. The survey also identified the program features that are most important to workers.

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Livability Index

How livable is your community?

Health Security

Rx Price Watch Report: Brand Name Drug Prices Increase More than Twice as Fast as Inflation in 2018

Retail prices for widely used prescription drugs increased, on average, between 2006 and 2018. In 2018, retail prices for 267 brand name prescription drugs widely used by older adults increased by an average of 5.8 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 2.4 percent over the same period.

Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2017 Year-End Update

Retail prices for widely used prescription drugs increased by an average of 4.2 percent in 2017. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 2.1 percent over the same period.

Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers: Understanding Federal Law and Guidance 

Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers, named after the section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that created them, are intended to allow states to implement innovative or alternative strategies to achieve health coverage. This report highlights five key steps that states should take to understand and evaluate the impact of these waivers on older adults.

Telehealth and Medicare: What Is Covered

This fact sheet describes the telehealth-provided services available to Medicare beneficiaries, including both current and new services resulting from recent policy changes.

Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Specialty Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2017 Year-End Update

The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen W. Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used specialty prescription drugs increased by 7.0 percent between 2016 and 2017.  

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Susan Reinhard is senior vice president and director of AARP Public Policy Institute. Read her latest blogs on family caregiving, healthy living, nursing and more. Read Susan's Blogs

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Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard

A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers

Independent Living/Long-Term Services and Support

Fast-tracking Approval for Publicly Funded LTSS: Presumptive Eligibility

Part of the Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard Promising Practices, this paper examines Presumptive Eligibility programs in five states -- Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – comparing key features and making recommendations for effective programs that increase access to Long-Term Services and Supports. 

Long-Term Services and Supports

In 2018, about 14 million adults of all ages needed long-term services and supports (LTSS). This fact sheet takes a closer look at what LTSS encompass, who needs these services, who provides care and where it’s provided, what paid LTSS cost, and who pays for LTSS.

Emerging Innovations: Mobility Managers

Mobility managers are transportation coordinators for older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, and other members of the riding public. This paper highlights who mobility managers are and what they do—and why they are important now and in the future. It highlights emerging innovations from five case studies.

Across the States 2018: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports

Across the States 2018: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports is the 10th edition of the AARP Public Policy Institute’s state long-term services and supports (LTSS) reference report. 

How Managed Long-Term Services and Supports is Providing Coordination

Older people and adults with disabilities, particularly those with care needs, can benefit from care coordination. Care coordinators are typically nurses or social workers who can help with tasks such as monitoring chronic health conditions, connecting them to social supports, conducting assessments, and writing plans of care.

State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard: How One State Improved

This report presents the findings from a case study of Connecticut. The study was conducted following the release of the 2014 State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard to understand factors that lead to improved performance on measures of long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults and people with physical disabilities.  

Effective Transitions Between Care Settings

Unnecessary and avoidable care transitions can result in adverse outcomes, especially among older adults and people with multiple chronic conditions.

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Family Caregiving

Valuing the Invaluable 2019 Update: Charting a Path Forward

Part of a series of papers on the economic value of family caregiving, this report updates national and individual state estimates of the economic value of family caregiving using the most current data available. In 2017, about 41 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $470 billion. 

Home Alone Revisied: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care

The role of many family caregivers has dramatically expanded to include performing medical/nursing tasks once provided only in hospitals, such as managing  medications, wound care, and giving injections. This report exdamined what family caregivers who perform medical/nursing tasks experience and takes a closer look at specific difficult tasks,such as managing incontinence, pain, and special diets. It also offered greater attention toresources and outcomes as well as family caregiver experiences by gender, generation, and culture. 

Disrupting the Marketplace: The State of Private Long-Term Care Insurance, 2018 Update

The long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry is undergoing a transformation and is responding to consumer concerns about the high cost and complexity of LTCI by developing alternative products that are more affordable and flexible to meet the coverage needs consumers.  This report includes facts and figures on LTCI and information on the emerging market for short-term care products.

Millennials: The Emerging Generation of Family Caregivers

This report is the first to look comprehensively at Millennials as family caregivers. Millennials comprise about 1 in 4 family caregivers.

Family Caregivers & Managed Long-Term Services and Supports

This is the first major research paper in this emerging field of managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) that addresses family caregivers’ needs. 

“It All Falls on Me”: Family Caregiver Perspectives on Medication Management, Wound Care, and Video Instruction

The AARP Public Policy Institute contracted with the United Hospital Fund to conduct discussion groups as part of a larger initiative known as the Home Alone AllianceSM. This initiative seeks to bring together partners from public, private, and nonprofit sectors to strive for sweeping cultural change in addressing the needs of family caregivers. 

Family Caregiver Video Guide to Managing Medications

Caregiving instructional videos aimed at preparing family caregivers perform a variety of medical/nursing tasks such as managing medications, giving injections, mobility, wound care and preparing special diets.  

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Livable Communities

Communities Are Embracing Development Near Transit: A Snapshot of Transit-Oriented Development Support across the United States

This report details the ways state, regional, and local actors proactively foster TOD.

Housing Policy Solutions to Support Aging with Options

As the older adult population rapidly increases, the demand will rise for quality, affordable, and accessible housing in close proximity to services and other amenities. Public policy should support a variety of housing options for older adults, including those that allow them the choice to age in their homes and communities while connecting them to supportive services.

Expanding Specialized Transportation: New opportunities under the Affordable Care Act

This paper explains how states can use ACA options to expand services for targeted low-income populations with mobility needs. 

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Center to Champion Nursing in America

Transforming the Workforce to Provide Better Chronic Care

This series explores the evolution of primary care systems to better meet the needs of consumers with complex health conditions. It demonstrates that changes in the workforce are required to empower consumers to better manage their health.

Removing Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Care: Hospital Privileges

Granting hospital privileges to nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses reduces costs, increases consumer choice, and improves healthcare quality.

Removing Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Care: Home Health and Hospice Services

Allowing nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses to certify patients for Medicare coverage of home health services would increase access and efficiency.  

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