Policy journal Health Affairs, through the support of The SCAN Foundation, is launching a new long-term care-focused feature called “The Care Span,” debuting with two articles in the publication’s March issue.
The Care Span will cover a range of topics relevant to long-term care, as well as aging, disability, chronic disease, end-of-life care, community-based care, and the continuum of care.
“As our nation grapples with an aging population and increasing rates of chronic illness, access to robust research and high-level analysis will be crucial to finding solutions,” said Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs. “Through our partnership with The SCAN Foundation we will be able to bring this information to policy makers.”
The first article in The Care Span explores how the health reform law can help move states toward creating a better system of long-term services and supports, with options beyond nursing homes and institutional care. To help states assess their systems, AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, and The SCAN Foundation are sponsoring a “scorecard” project to articulate what a high-performing system of long-term care should look like. Once this tool is available, it will permit comparisons among states and make it possible to measure progress in individual states over time.
In the second article, researchers examine the effects on hospital costs of palliative care team consultations for patients enrolled in Medicaid at four New York State hospitals. The researchers estimate eventual reductions in Medicaid hospital spending for New York State of up to $252 million, if every hospital with 150 or more beds had a fully operational palliative care team.