Aging Summit Steers Managed Long Term Care Toward Community-Based Services
The goal of Area Agencies on Aging is and has always been to help older New Yorkers age with dignity and independence, and that was never more evident than during the Association on Aging in NY's October Aging Summit in Syracuse.
The 2013 Aging Summit, held at the Crowne Plaza in Syracuse, NY, brought together members of the Association on Aging in NY, Directors/Commissioners and staff of New York's mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging, for an education forum, Navigating the Future Course of the Aging Network, as well as discussion on Best Practices and a
Aging Summit panelists with Aging-NY Executive Director (l to r): Bill Armbruster (AARP), Trilby de Jung (Empire Justice Center), Laura Cameron (Assoc. on Aging in NY), Linda Austin (M.A. Wallingford & Associates), Penny Abulencia (PACE Central NY)
dinner celebrating Board President Crystal Carter's tenure.
The Association represents the offices for aging in New York State, which provide services and programs -- transportation, home-delivered meals, home care, etc. -- to older New Yorkers.
They are supported by monies from the federal Older Americans Act, state funds through the New York State Office for the Aging, county government, and participant contributions. They have concerns about the future of quality care as a result of Medicaid Redesign, which in New York State is moving New York's vulnerable elderly population from Medicaid fee-for-service into Managed Long Term Care programs.
While the offices for aging historically have provided services for people to keep them from "spending down to Medicaid," they are concerned the changeover will negatively impact the quality of community-based care.
Some of their concerns included:
- The $600 million the State has received through BIP (Balanced Incentive Payments) from the federal government to rebalance long term care isn't enough to cover the ultimate cost of rebalancing the system for Long Term Services and Supports in New York State.
- Case management from afar will remove the human element of human services, shortchange the care required and create more calls to agencies like Adult Protective Services.
- Managed care companies will face challenges providing care for the highest need individuals.
"These concerns are voiced by many in the Aging Services Network, and called for in-depth discussion among Area Agencies on Aging and other agencies affected by the changes, which is why we convened the Aging Summit," said Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the Association on Aging in NY.
One of the most well known Managed Care companies that served vulnerable populations in Central
Aging Summit 2013 attracted dozens of Area Agency on Aging professionals concerned about Long Term Care in New York State.
New York -- Excellus BlueCross BlueShield -- is dropping out of public health insurance programs for the poor and the disabled in a move that will affect more than 22,000 Central New Yorkers.
"The insurer notified doctors and other providers it is withdrawing 'with great reluctance' from the Medicaid managed care and Family Health Plus programs because it expects to lose about $100 million on those programs this year," according to an article on October 14th in The Post-Standard news
If they can't survive in this environment, how will other Managed Care companies survive and where will the long term supports and services in those communities be in five years when the Managed Care companies decide to pull out?
The educational forum featured a panel of experts: Penny Abulencia, VP, PACE Central NY; Linda Austin, VP Service Integration, M.A. Wallingford & Associated and Trilby de Jung, Senior Staff Attorney, Empire Justice Center.Click here
for a copy of the program from the Saturday night dinner celebrating Board President Crystal Carter's
four-year term and click here
for the PowerPoint featuring highlights from the four years.About Us
The Association on Aging in New York represents the state’s local offices for the aging, which were established under the federal Older Americans Act to respond to the needs of Americans age 60 and over. The Association provides professional development and education that includes the annual Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) conference, webinars, regional caregiver forums and a Leadership Institute. The Association works to strengthen and expand long term services and supports to individuals so they may age in place in the community. A core philosophy is to work in collaboration with other agencies, which is accomplished through the Aging Alliance, a coalition of organizations representing older New Yorkers. For more information, go to www.agingny.org