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AARP Publishes Updated Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard

June 26, 2014

AARP has published an update of its Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard, three years after the scorecard’s initial release in 2011.

The scorecard rates each state using 26 indicators across five dimensions:

  • Affordability and Access,
  • Choice of Setting and Provider,
  • Quality of Life and Quality of Care,
  • Support for Family Caregivers, and
  • Effective Transitions.

As in 2011, the 2014 scorecard includes three measures related to direct-care workers:

  1. Number of home health and personal care aides per 1,000 adults over age 65;
  2. Rate of staff turnover in nursing homes; and
  3. Number of health maintenance tasks able to be delegated to LTSS workers (out of 16 tasks).

Each measure shows improvement in some states.

Importance of Delegating Tasks to Direct-Care Workers

Flexibility with regard to delegation of health maintenance tasks is significant for the development of advanced roles for direct-care workers. This kind of delegation also has an impact on the ability of LTSS consumers to receive services at home.

As the scorecard report notes, “Allowing nurses to delegate health maintenance tasks to direct care workers in home settings helps family caregivers and is more cost-effective for public programs.”

At the AARP Solutions Forum where the scorecard update was released, lead author Susan Reinhard emphasized that, since 2011, 13 states have increased the number of tasks able to be delegated.

More Home Care Workers Needed

The report also notes the importance of available home care workers for ensuring consumer access to home care options, saying “people cannot have the option of remaining at home if there aren’t enough workers to provide services.”

Using Minnesota, which scored highest of all states for quality, as a standard, the report notes that “if all states rose to Minnesota’s level of performance, 1.5 million more personal care, home care, and home health aides would be available to provide LTSS in communities nationwide.”

On the measure of aides per 1,000 people, 36 states showed improvement, 12 states showed no change, and three declined.

— by Gail MacInnes, PHI National Policy Analyst

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