A new report finds that states have made incremental improvements in providing long-term care- but need to make more improvements in order to meet the needs of the growing number of people who require long-term care services. According to the 2017 Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard– while long-term care remains unaffordable for middle class families- there has been some progress in other areas.
The scorecard- a collaboration between the AARP– The Commonwealth Fund– and The SCAN Foundation– measures states’ long-term care system performance in five areas: affordability and access- choice of setting and provider- quality of life and quality of care- support for family caregivers- and effective transitions between care settings.
The 2017 scorecard found that states showed progress since the previous scorecard in 2014 in reducing inappropriate antipsychotic drug use for nursing home residents- helping family caregivers- reducing long-term nursing home stays- increasing the number of Medicaid recipients receiving care at home or in the community rather than in an institution- and reducing potentially burdensome hospitalizations for people who die in a nursing home. However- the scorecard concludes that overall improvements are not keeping up with the demand. For example- there are not enough home care workers to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities living in the community. In addition- while states have made improvements in providing home health care- progress is moving too slowly to keep up with growing needs.
According to the scorecard- the top five states for long-term care are Washington- Minnesota- Vermont- Oregon- and Alaska. The bottom five states are Tennessee- Mississippi- Alabama- Kentucky- and Indiana. Tennessee and New York made the most progress since the previous scorecard in 2014. Virginia was ranked at 22 overall. Virginia was in the top quartile for affordability and access- choice of setting and effective transitions. It ranked in the third quartile for quality of life and quality of care- and in the bottom quartile for support for family caregivers.
To see where your state ranks- go here: http://www.longtermscorecard.org/2017-scorecard