On May 27, 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article entitled, “ Long-Term Care Policy after COVID-19 — Solving the Nursing Home Crisis”. The authors argue that the tragedy unfolding in nursing homes over the past three months is the result of our country’s decades of neglect of long-term care policy. Specifically, “COVID-19 has exposed the cracks in our tenuous system of providing and funding long-term care, and there are no easy fixes. But we believe we are well past due for comprehensive policies that take the care of aging Americans seriously and fund it accordingly and in a wider range of settings.”
The reform policies include:
- Transform the way we pay for and provide long-term care, including increased Medicaid funding in all settings, specifically the home setting.
- More safe, affordable residential options must be available, including smaller scale residential models, such as the Dutch Dementia Village model.
- A comprehensive funding system through existing programs or a universal long-term care insurance program.
The article notes neither increased funding nor more regulation in isolation is the answer. Rather, “we need a combination of funding, regulation, and a new strategy that fully supports a range of institutional and noninstitutional care”.
Rothkoff Law Group, in partnership with our elder care law colleagues in Nashville, Atlanta, and New Haven, CT will be hosting an online “town hall” style discussion with Eloy van hall, the co-founder of the Dementia Village in the Netherlands. More information to come in the next week.