Congress Debates Upcoming Long-Term Care Crisis—is Home Care the Solution?

Leaders in Washington, DC, are finally starting to realize there is a crisis coming as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day. Earlier this week, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn), warned that long term care financing is a major train wreck and “heading for a national crisis.”

These words came at a Senate Aging Committee hearing focusing on the future of long term care in the U.S. “There is no doubt there is a public sector role” in the future of financing long-term care supports and services,” Corker said.

Loren Colman, the assistant commissioner of continuing care at the Minnesota Department of Human Services argued that the state has been trying to move care away from institutions and into the home.

“Not that long ago, most people that were served by Medicaid in Minnesota received long-term care services in an institution. Over time, we’ve developed the supports needed to serve people in their own homes and communities,” she said.

In Minnesota, 63% of the older adults who receive Medicaid or Medical Assistance (MA) long term care services, receive that care in their home or community settings.

“Similar to many states, Minnesota is significantly challenged in meeting the anticipated demand for long term care services and supports, especially as the boomers age,” he said.

The state is asking for a Medicaid waiver that would allow it to offer benefits based on the need of the individual, so that they get the right levels of services based on their needs, from lower need to high need.

“We know that the preference of most older Minnesotans is to remain in their home. We want to further empower older Minnesotans to make that choice by making home and community-based services the norm in Minnesota and institutional care the exception.”

Written by John Yedinak

John Yedinak

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