Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), issued the following statement regarding the Commission on Long-Term Care’s vote on final recommendations:
“NAHC applauds the Commission’s members as they confront one of the most challenging issues before our country—long-term care. Long-term care should start on the foundation of a high-quality health care system based on home and community-based care. No matter who provides the finances, eligibility, or evaluation of need, our focus should be on doing everything possible to help seniors remain at home. They prefer to be in the home setting, where they can thrive among their family and loved ones.
“With the 78 million baby boomers coming into their Medicare years, Americans must come to grips with the need to assist them in managing disability and chronic disease. The facts are clear: 5 percent of Americans are responsible for 50 percent of U.S. health care costs, and 10 percent of Americans who need help managing long-term chronic conditions account for 75 percent of the bill.
“There are Commission recommendations that NAHC supports including reconsidering the requirement for receiving home health services under Medicare that the individual be ‘homebound,’ and promoting services for persons with functional limitations in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their need—building a system, including Medicaid, with options for people who would prefer to live in the community.
“NAHC is committed to work with Congress, the Administration and other communities to provide a system that allows full access to high-quality care at home.”