California ranks 15th in the U.S. for providing long-term care services to seniors and residents with disabilities, according to a new report released by AARP's Public Policy Institute, the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation, the Ventura County Star reports.
The State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard measured how well states deliver long-term care based on four categories:
- Affordability and access;
- Patient choice in their long-term care;
- Patient quality of life and care; and
- Support for family caregivers (Gregory, Ventura County Star, 9/9).
California ranked in the top 25% of states in 10 measures, mostly those involving access, choice and affordability. However, the state ranked in the bottom quarter of states on eight measures, mostly those involving quality of life and quality of care (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 9/7).
According to the score card, California ranked:
- 1st for the number of people with disabilities who receive "consumer-directed" care, which means they are able to select who provides their care and how (Ventura County Star, 9/9);
- 5th for the percentage of new Medicaid beneficiaries who first receive services in the community, rather than an institution;
- 6th for the percentage of public spending on long-term care;
- 7th for overall affordability and access;
- 40th for the percentage of high-risk nursing home patients with bed sores;
- 46th for the percentage of family caregivers reporting that they usually or always got the support they needed (HealthyCal, 9/7); and
- 49th for the percentage of nursing home residents who are physically restrained.
Many of the areas in which California scored well are being reduced or eliminated because of budget constraints, the Star reports.
Casey Young, an AARP California lobbyist, noted that the state's adult day health care program is being eliminated and that In-Home Supportive Services -- the program that provides in-home nonmedical care for low-income seniors and residents with disabilities -- is facing significant cuts (Ventura County Star, 9/9).
Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of the SCAN Foundation, said the report shows that California had "positive successes and areas for growth." He added that he hopes the score card will push states to improve the quality and availability of support for older adults (HealthyCal, 9/7).