« The Dual Agenda: February 19, 2015 Issue

Noteworthy News

ACL Issues New Rule on Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has issued a final rule governing grants to states for operation of Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman programs. With dual demonstrations also operating Ombudsman programs, this new LTC rule may provide information useful to advocates working on those demonstrations. The new LTC rule is the culmination of several years of collaborative work between the ACL,states and other stakeholders[BG1] . The goal of the rule is to reduce significant inconsistency among states in the quality of ombudsman services being provided to residents. The ACL hopes that the rule will help bring needed consistency, strengthen LTC Ombudsman programs, and improve the effectiveness of their services to individuals living in long-term care facilities. The rule will become effective on July 1, 2016, in order to give states time to make changes.

New Evaluation Results for Two Medical Home Initiatives

Kaiser Health News reports on the results of evaluations of two Medical Homes programs funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The evaluation consultants looked at the first year’s results for the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, a four-year program in Colorado, New Jersey and several other states, and the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration, a three-year test in eight states including New York and Pennsylvania. The evaluations show mixed results. The programs reduced expensive hospital visits in some cases, but struggled to show net savings after accounting for their cost. Nor was there a big change in quality-of-care indicators, and the reports gave little information on whether or not patients’ health improved, saying it was too soon to tell. Advocates for PCMHs consider the early results promising and hope that future evaluations will show more robust results as the program continues. Medical Home models are also being used in one form or another in the demonstration projects in Washington state and Colorado.


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