Congressional Commission on Long-Term Care Makes Recommendations for Reform

Congressional Commission on Long-Term Care  claims that CMS is too burdened to drive long-term care reform.

By Chris Berry

While typical long-term care reforms depend on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to be implemented, an overwhelming demand on the agency has taken its toll, leaving the agency unable to manage all the necessary changes, a panel of experts reports.

All three panelists were members of the Congressional Commission on Long-Term Care, which recently made their recommendations on how to reform the United States’ long-term services and supports system. Panel host Bob Cusack, the managing editor of The Hill newspaper, identified that most of these recommendations would be handled by CMS. He questioned whether CMS could manage the proposed reforms without the benefit of an administered budget that was “dramatically” increased.

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“For this to be successfully engaged … I think you probably need to think about another agency,” said Henry Claypool, executive vice president of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The Administration for Community Living, created to help enact the long-term care component of the ACA, is one potential candidate to oversee long-term care reform. Although this part of the law was eliminated in January, the ACL, or a new agency similarly created, could alleviate pressure from the CMS, Claypool stated.

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Currently CMS is occupied with bending the Medicare cost curve, hindering its ability to steer long-term care reform, he added.

Consensus on the matter was reached among the other panelists.

“Very often we focus on CMS as the only engine of renewal and effort,” said Carol Raphael, vice chairman of the board at AARP. She added that there are a number of other arenas that can drive change, and that technology can be a major player in changing the LTSS system.

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President of the public policy research organization, the Galen Institute, Grace Marie Turner agreed. She warned that placing too much focus on regulation will stifle the type of innovation that will result in more organic changes system-wide.

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