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REPORTS: Better Training, Wages for DCWs Key to Improving Long-Term Care

July 22, 2015

A national group of long-term care stakeholders recommends improving wages and training for direct-care workers as part of its plan to bolster the viability of the U.S. long-term care system.

The group, the Long-Term Care Financing Collaborative (LTCFC), was convened in 2012 by the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “solving social challenges through collaboration.”

The LTCFC includes members representing consumer groups, long-term care providers, insurance companies, and an ideological mix of policy experts.

On July 9, the LTCFC issued two reports explaining its “foundational principles for designing an affordable system of long-term care as well as a vision for delivery that recognizes the role of families and communities in providing these services and supports.”

By the end of the year, the LTCFC will develop a full, detailed set of policy recommendations based upon these principles and vision.

Urban Institute senior fellow Howard Gleckman, a member of the LTCFC’s steering committee, outlined in Forbes the “four key pillars” upon which the LTCFC will build its long-term care recommendations:

  • better integrating supports and services with medical care;
  • supporting families;
  • supporting paid caregivers; and
  • leveraging existing institutions such as neighborhoods, faith communities, and workplaces.

“We recommended more flexible state practice and licensing rules that allow health care workers and direct-care workers to ‘work to the top of their skills,'” Gleckman wrote.

“We also endorsed better training and higher wages and benefits for care workers,” he added.

— by Matthew Ozga

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