February 25, 2008
WASHINGTON—The nation’s governors today discussed the future of long-term care and innovative reforms that improve access and reduce the cost of these important health care services. The discussion occurred during the National Governors Association’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee meeting chaired by Governor Jim Douglas.
Governor Douglas said the changing population and high health care costs are requiring states rethink long-term care services and reform them in a way the provides more affordable choices.
“Increases in life expectancy, improvements in medical technology and the aging of the baby boom generation are contributing to unprecedented growth in the population of individuals over the age of 65 and in younger adults and children living with disabilities,” said Governor Jim Douglas, the committee’s chair. “This session provided governors the opportunity to closely examine the challenges we face when it comes to long-term care, as well as the innovative solutions being offered by Vermont and other states that make these important health care services affordable and accessible for everyone who needs them.”
Governor Douglas led the discussion on this topic with state and national experts including Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, who provided insight into how long-term care costs fit into the federal budget perspective and Roger Auerbach, senior consultant at the Lewin Group, who will discuss a wide array of potential solutions, including critical roles for the federal government and private financing.
The governors also heard from Patrick Flood, deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services, and William A.B. Ditto, director of the New Jersey Division of Disability Services, who shared some of their states’ innovations and how they could be replicated elsewhere.
“Vermont’s first-in-the-nation Choices for Care program is an innovative reform that is giving seniors and people with disabilities the option of receiving their care at home, rather than in a more costly and less personal institution,” Douglas said. “This option—which costs on average nearly half as much as institutional care—is enhancing the quality of care, the individual’s quality of life and helping us to significantly reduce costs and serve more Vermonters. Our Choices for Care program represents the kind of reform to our system of long-term health care that can, and should, be replicated throughout the nation.”
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: February 25, 2008 15:31:19