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LeadingAge NY Participates in First Meeting of Long Term Care Planning Project

The Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) held the first meeting of the Long Term Care Planning Project (LTCPP) in Albany last week. The LTCPP is an initiative designed to understand the projected needs of older adults in New York by examining the state’s long term care system. LeadingAge NY staff and several LeadingAge NY members participated in the meeting, which included stakeholders from across the state.

DOH and NYSOFA plan to hold four more meetings of this group over the course of 2019, covering the following topics:

  • Evidence-Based Interventions in Aging and Long Term Care and Coordination with Emerging Health Systems
  • Family Caregiving Support
  • Analyzing, Expanding, and Supporting the Long Term Care Workforce
  • Financing Alternatives to Public Programs (Medicaid)

Last week’s meeting focused on Aging and Long Term Care Services – Improving Coordination, Communication, and the Consumer Experience. The meeting began with an overview of the Long Term Care Survey that DOH and NYSOFA conducted in 2018, which was designed to inform the topics for the LTCPP. Click here to access the slides presented at the meeting. The key issues raised in the survey responses are not surprising; concerns related to cost, access, and the ability to age in place were at the top of the list. There were also resource and workforce concerns expressed as well as confusion about the complexity of options, rules, and regulations. One of the more interesting findings was that people named “physician office” as the top organization used to assist with caregiving or support of non-medical services. This highlights the need for education of the public and the need for the long term care and aging services community to ensure community physicians know they are a resource.

The rest of the meeting was spent in small group discussions addressing specific sub-topics. The result was a large brainstorming session with an identification of barriers as well as proposed goals and solutions. Themes from those conversations included:

  • the need for interoperability of and access to electronic health records to facilitate better communication;
  • the need for new housing development to support aging in place;
  • the fact that there are often many care coordinators, but perhaps not one single coordinator across all settings and circumstances, raising the question of who is accountable;
  • that silos are created by payer source;
  • the need for greater cultural competence, including intergenerational cultural competence;
  • that people tend not to access the State-provided resources on accessing services;
  • that people do not educate themselves about services and options until there is a crisis; and
  • that Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans could work better together, but plans are not aware of or connected to all local CBOs.

LeadingAge NY will continue to contribute to this effort and monitor the outcomes. Members with questions about the initiative can contact DOH staff at ALTCteam@health.ny.gov.

Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828