On July 17th, the Long Term Care Commission, comprised of 15 appointees, held their second hearing on “Populations in Need of LTSS (Long-Term Service and Supports) with two separate panels of witnesses.

The Commission is charged with coming up with a plan for delivering and funding long-term care services for seniors and people with disabilities – and to vote on it by September 12, 2013.

During the second hearing, a geriatrician, Dr. Joanne Lynn, M.D. reported to the Commission that planning for long term care services needs to become a priority and that we currently have, “models of care that meet the needs and reflect the priorities of frail elderly people, but traditions, habits, rules and incentives all keep us mired in dysfunction.” She pointed out that we are focused solely on the medical needs of our aging population and are ignoring social needs which often result in additional hospitalizations, the most costly care for the system.

Future hearing dates are set for August 19th and August 29th to continue exploring our nation’s long term care services. The Commission has created a website and are interested in receiving comments and proposals.

– Kathleen M. May