Experienced in-home male nurse in uniform helping an aged patient to rise from the bed

What constitutes high-performing long-term care services and supports (LTSS) will change next year, according to AARP. The nonprofit announced it will update its LTSS State Scorecard for 2023 to adapt to current times and make necessary changes to better reflect AARP’s understanding of what drives a high-performing LTSS system. 

“While the dictionary definition of LTSS has not changed significantly in recent years, it is clear based on all we know has occurred over the last decade that we must revisit how we define a high-performing LTSS system and how we measure success,” Brendan Flinn, AARP senior policy adviser, said on the company’s website. 

AARP’s vision for a high-performing LTSS System in 2023 includes:

  1. Affordability and access, so consumers can easily find and afford services, with a meaningfully and available safety net for those who cannot afford them
  2. Choice and setting of providers, letting seniors and their families select appropriate settings for care, including home-and-community-based services.
  3. Quality and safety to ensure that consumers are treated with respect and preferences are honored to achieve positive outcomes.
  4. Support for family caregivers that addresses their needs and ensures family caregivers receive support for their roles.
  5. Community and integration that promotes age-friendly communities, safe and affordable housing accompanied by long-term service supports. 

AARP launched the scorecard in 2011 to measure state long-term care support services and rank states in comparison to one another. The nonprofit said the scorecard has driven and highlighted change in LTSS systems over the years, as well as improved services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities. However, the aging population, shifting demographics and workforce challenges prompted AARP to revisit the scorecard.

The nonprofit said in recent months many stakeholders have emphasized workforce challenges, prompting the organization to include new indicators that measure LTSS workforce size, strength and stability. Additionally, an aging population is shifting more services to home- and community-based settings, requiring more scrutiny of state Medicaid programs.

“Not all Medicaid HCBS experiences are equal, though, and literature consistently identifies disparities by race and ethnicity,” Flinn added. 

AARP noted that the population over the age of 65 has increased 35% since it launched the scorecard, requiring states to strengthen LTSS systems.