State lawmakers are promoting key health care proposals this year aimed at helping elderly and disabled Tennesseans receive more options in their health care, including staying in their homes for as long as possible. Representative Richard Montgomery announced today that he supported the proposals, adding that they were a crucial part of giving seniors more options. The long term care legislation is part of a series of bills aiming to help citizens “age in place.”
Rep. Montgomery pointed first to a “self –directed care” plan that lawmakers have been supporting for several years. The legislation calls for a pilot program for a “self-directed care program” where individual patients get the opportunity to choose services they think they need and who provides them. Consumers would receive a monthly budget based on their needs, and could use this money to hire personal assistant services, make home modifications, and more.
“We must look at all of our laws to help give citizens more options regarding their health care so that they can age in place in their homes with dignity,” said Rep. Montgomery. “This is one of several bills we hope to pass this year aimed at providing more choices and options to elderly and disabled Tennesseans to help them stay in their homes as long as they can. I know from speaking with citizens in my district that this is an issue that concerns many of them, and I can sympathize with their lack of options.”
Rep. Montgomery said “Our aim is to ensure that seniors and the disabled have options, and that they are in control of those options. Tennessee has been last in the nation for too long in the number of healthcare choices for elderly and disabled citizens on Medicaid-supported services, a problem that has kept them from being able to stay in their homes and age with dignity.”
Arkansas, Florida, and New Jersey were the pioneers of this self-directed health care concept. Since that time, 12 other states have expanded their choices. Studies show that, by every measure, self-directed care is succeeding and that consumers with this option are reporting greater satisfaction, better quality of life, and fewer unmet needs. Tennessee spent approximately $1.1 billion on long term care last year. Out of the 22,000 seniors on Medicaid in Tennessee, only a few thousand get home-and community-based care services.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.